Cheeky Dogs Exhibition: Dion Beasley – Perth Festival

Cheeky Dogs Exhibition: Dion Beasley – Perth Festival

By Heather Jerrems

The Perth Festival season is almost complete with all the festivities wrapping up this coming Sunday. This year has given us a different kind of festival with a broader, and more culturally accessible program that has literally spilled out into our streets with the addition of the Highway to Hell, a celebration of the music of AC/DC going down Sunday, March 1st on Canning Highway.

The program for 2020 has diversified across art forms of circus, dance, theatrical performance, music, literature and ideas, film, and visual arts, and while there are a lot of highlights, what I was most excited about was the inclusion of The Blind Boys of Alabama, Leviathan by Circa, G Flip, and Bennelong by Bangarra Dance Theatre.

It was basically impossible to decide on what to see at the festival this year with so many great offerings, however, one exhibition that really piqued my interest was Dion Beasley’s Cheeky Dogs at DAADA in Fremantle.

I was familiar with Dion’s work, having previously seen it printed on a few t-shirts but honestly didn’t really know much about the artist himself.

“Dion is an Alywarr artist who lives in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. He is well known for his cheeky dog illustrations which are characteristic of the dogs that live in many of the remote communities in the Northern Territory.

Dion uses his art as a way to communicate with others. Being profoundly Deaf and non-verbal Dion draws his experiences to portray in vivid detail his life in Tennant Creek and the people, places and dogs he loves. His drawings are featured on t-shirts and in his award-winning children’s book Too Many Cheeky Dogs, which is loved by people around Australia and the world.” Direct quote

His love and fascination of the community dogs really shine through in the exhibited works. Featuring a selection of prints and drawings, Dion’s unconventional style and keen observational skills truly capture the essence of the cheeky pups he immortalises in this exhibition.

From the work you can collect a sense of community, the spirit and personality of the dogs, see their loyalty to family and understand how the artist has so much love for them. Dion’s ability to capture the dogs and his community in this way is truly remarkable.

Cheeky Dogs is showing at DAADA, 92 Adelaide Street Fremantle until Saturday April 18, entry is free.

For more details, head here.

EXHIBITION RUNS: 7 February – 18 April 2020
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
DADAA Fremantle Gallery
92 Adelaide St, Fremantle

Image – Dion Beasley, untitled, (detail), pencil and graphite on paper, 27 x 41 cm