We explore Dion Parker’s mid life vices

Gold Coast artist Dion Parker is all set to celebrate his entry into the naughty forties with a personal exhibition and public birthday party.

And why not? It’s not like he’s short on friends in the local community.

“Since entering the art scene on the Gold Coast over ten years ago I’ve met many wonderful artists and creative people,” Dion tells us.

“I’ll be inviting everyone I know and anyone else who’d like to come check it out, to join me for the opening night celebrations.”

The exhibition, titled ‘Mid Life Vices’, opens on the night of Saturday 24 April at the new, artist-run Coolangatta Art Space, with a 40th birthday party to remember. Or not.

“I still enjoy a party, but I try to avoid hangovers these days,” Dion muses. “I enjoy wine now, so I guess you could say I’m kinda sophisticated,” he laughs.

Running until 9 May, ‘Mid Life Vices’ represents an evolution in the thematic practice of this popular Li’l Dusty creator.

“As I get older the way I express myself and enjoy myself Is changing,” Dion explains.

“I will be exhibiting works in a variety of mediums including bronze, ceramic and painting.  Lately it’s been my muse peppered with subtle hints of heartbreak and desire.

“Although I use themes and characters repeatedly, I feel like my work, style and creative process is always slowly evolving.”

Dion says his mindset has changed “a lot” in the last ten years, something people may notice in his work.

In the past I used vices to avoid dealing with things, obviously that just made things worse.

“It’s been a year and a half since I quit the devil’s lettuce [Clearly, he’s talking about coriander]. Now I feel different. In a good way.

“I’ve become comfortable expressing myself how I want.”

This is a liberating revelation for any man who grew up in a blokey era and environment, awash with society’s narrowly defined parameters for masculinity.

“I’ve got a shaved (bald) head and tattoos, I scowl without meaning to and ride a motorcycle,” Dion shrugs.

“Yet most of my friends are women, I like drawing flowers and rainbows and cartoon dogs and I’m finally comfortable hugging strangers.”

So come and give Dion a birthday hug (COVID-permitting), from 6pm on Saturday 24 April at the new Coolangatta Art Space, 21 McLean Street, Coolangatta. If you can’t make opening night, ‘Mid Life Vices’ will be running until 9 May. So you can always pop in for a visit. Dion will also be holiding an artist talk and Q+A on Saturday 1 May.

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