by Charlotte Pordage


Ascot Vale resident and acclaimed artist Dagmar Cyrulla will be launching her latest exhibition, Amour et Vie, at North Melbourne gallery Rubicon Ari this Wednesday.


Amour et Vie is a celebration of love and life and all of Cyrulla’s work is imbued with a profound depth of emotional feeling and intimacy that encourages personal reflection and exploration.


“Most of my work is about relationships and how we relate to one other. I take ordinary moments, snapshots in time, and give them poetry,” Cyrulla says.


“My aim is to open an opportunity for self-questioning by viewers. Each painting reflects my love of people and their stories, including father-daughter relationships, power relationships, relationships to parents, being and having a role model, and sibling rivalry.”


Contemplation by Dagmar Cyrulla

Contemplation by Dagmar Cyrulla


While strong narratives are a key element of Cyrulla’s work, she is beginning to focus more on the intuitive use of colour and space and how this creates mystery and intrigue for the viewer. She claims not to use any particular technique however, saying that she has “to be engaged with the work on an emotional level to be able to make it.”


Cyrulla has recently returned from a successful solo exhibition in Dijon, France, where a selection of her paintings were displayed at the Galerie Notre Dame. Although she has been regularly appearing in exhibitions since 2000 and has showcased her work in almost every major city in Australia, she always relishes the opportunity to share her art.


“It doesn’t matter where you show, it’s just nice to see the work in a different context outside your studio. It’s wonderful seeing the different responses by the audience and have them be inspired by the work and connect to it,” Cyrulla says.


Most of my work is about relationships and how we relate to one other. I take ordinary moments, snapshots in time, and give them poetry.”


Born in Germany, Cyrulla arrived in Australia at the age of two and has been living in Melbourne for the past 20 years. She attended the Julian Ashton School of Art in Sydney and was offered a scholarship to study a Masters of Fine Art at Monash University in 2009.


She is no stranger to competitive success, being a four-time Dobell Drawing Prize finalist and Doug Moran Portrait Prize semi-finalist. Cyrulla’s most recent achievement was as a semi-finalist in the BP Portrait Award, a highly prestigious competition run by the National Portrait Gallery of London, which featured entries from 2,700 artists across 92 different countries.


Amour I by Dagmar Cyrulla

Amour I by Dagmar Cyrulla


Cyrulla, who would spend all her time drawing as a child, credits several early influences in helping her develop her creative talent and pursue her artistic vision.


“I was lucky to have a number of teachers to guide me and I had a girlfriend who now paints in New York who made me believe I could have a career as an artist,” she says.


The exhibition will take place at Rubicon Ari, Level 1/309 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from Wednesday 2 September to Saturday 19 September. Gallery opening hours are 12-5pm Wednesday to Saturday, with all other times by appointment only. For more information, visit www.rubiconari.com.au/upcoming.



Charlotte Pordage is a freelance writer/editor from the UK. When she’s not editing the Local News section, she can be found riding her horse Oscar and exploring Melbourne’s eclectic nightlife. @charpordage

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