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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Portrait of David Dridan, 1992

Brian Dunlop

oil on canvas (frame: 157.7 cm x 188.7 cm, support: 152.0 cm x 183.0 cm)

David Dridan (b. 1932), artist, studied at the South Australian School of Art and later at East Sydney Technical College. There, he met Russell Drysdale, who became a friend and a significant influence on his work. Awarded a grant from the British Council in 1961, he travelled to the UK for further study at the London Polytechnic and to undertake training in gallery administration at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He was keeper of paintings at the Art Gallery of South Australia from 1962 to 1964, during which period he also became a teacher at St Peter’s College, Adelaide. From the late 1960s he focused increasingly on his painting, becoming known for his views of South Australian landscapes. In the early 1970s, he served as a member of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, formed to advise the government on official portrait commissions and the development of the national collection. Also a viticulturist, a collector, and co-founder of the Fleurieu Art Prize, Dridan established his own gallery at McLaren Vale in the 1990s, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his services to the arts, tourism and the wine industry in the region. In retirement, he moved into a stone villa and studio in Strathalbyn, where he still paints, on occasion in the company of his friends and fellow-octogenarians John Olsen and Barry Humphries. Dridan has held numerous solo exhibitions and examples of his work are held in various public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Alluding to Dridan’s work as an artist and winegrower and his place in the McLaren Vale community, the portrait shows him standing behind a table upon which a palette and paintbrushes sit alongside bottles and wineglasses. In the background is a painting by the Anglo-Welsh artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956). The portrait of Dridan was a finalist in the Archibald Prize in 1993 and hung for some time in the Salopian Inn, a long-established McLaren Vale restaurant.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of David Dridan OAM 2017
© Brian Dunlop/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2017.51

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Brian Dunlop (age 54 in 1992)

David Dridan OAM (age 60 in 1992)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood

A quiet moment

Magazine article by Helene Ladomirska, 2006

As Bryan Westwood’s portrait of Brian Dunlop hangs adjacent to Brian Dunlop’s portrait of the philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, we see the artist of one work as the subject of the other. 

Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell

Eye to eye

Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.