Daniel Rigos a local artist from Belgrave has been part of Open Studios for many years but this year he was conspicuously absent. Perhaps it’s because he has been busy travelling Australia, painting for an upcoming exhibition in Healesville. A year long journey through the Australian outback is the heart of this exhibition. Daniel’s paintings bring together themes and feelings of the landscape whilst also drifting into the ether and beyond.
Painted outside in the elements, Daniel’s paintings are inspired by the landscape but delve into other mystical worlds, blending with elements of abstraction and the surreal. Some evoke the intensity of the arid dry expanse of Central Australia, while others merge into the depths of the sea, or the majestic splendour of the mountains. Yet nothing is as powerful as the endless wide expanse of the savannah. Daniel explains “when one is confronted by its immensity, with its perfectly flat horizon, one feels truly alone. Yet somehow in this infinite space one also feels truly connected.”
The journey itself has impacted Daniel’s works and this narrative has changed and shaped his paintings. Daniel is usually a studio based artist working in the comforts of the studio. This year he had to contend with the elements, from the 40 degree heat of the desert rapidly drying the oil paint, to the monsoon showers of Queensland. “Some paintings were started in one location then finished in a completely different landscape,” says Daniel. “Just as the body and the mind are effected by the sudden changes of travel, so are the paintings. Landscapes morph into each other. Scale becomes irrelevant. One world shifts into another.”
Daniel lives in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges and has been exhibiting for over 14 years. This is his first solo exhibition. He has been part of the Dandenong Ranges Open Studios weekend for many years showing his work alongside his wood artist father Yanni Rigos at Wood Alchemy gallery in Kallista.
For the travels around Australia Daniel and his wife Shakti hand-outfitted a campervan with the help of his father. They incorporated unique and rare Australian woods with antique Chinese screens to create a truly one-of-a-kind campervan.
‘Dance of the Savannah’ exhibition by Daniel Rigos
Where: The Memo, Healseville
When: Friday June 9th – Sunday July 16th