Artist revisits the male nude

RE-NUDE: A new take on classic nudes by Dawn Hendry depicting men in passive poses
RE-NUDE: A new take on classic nudes by Dawn Hendry depicting men in passive poses

There are new nudes.

Gone are the reclining female nudes of the Renaissance. Instead, the new nudes are men – in what were once classically female passive poses – against softened backdrops.

Dawn Hendry is the force behind the brush on this series of paintings being exhibited at Kinder House Gallery from November 4 to 9.

"In art you have what is termed ‘the male gaze’ and that refers to the observer being male.

"I just thought it would be worth doing a similar setting but having men as the subject rather than women," she says.

Ms Hendry doesn’t claim that the idea is brand new or hers alone, but when she first put brush to canvas, she had not seen it done before.

"Since I began the series I have seen other artists with similar ideas do it in other ways – but mine is still the only series of paintings on this topic that I know of," she says.

The oil on canvas works are what Ms Hendry refers to as "blended" and there is great attention to the subtle flow and form of the human body.

"Art is my creative outlet and always has been. At school I loved maths, and I’m in the IT industry as my day job. But ever since I was a child I have loved different textures and colours and I adore fabric. I even include it in my paintings," she says.

"I’ve made glass moulds and done sculpture and dance, now I am painting. It all has its place," she says.

She has cut back on hours in her day job to study and take formal art classes for the first time, and to work on her exhibition pieces.

The models for Ms Hendry’s exhibition pieces are male contemporary dancers.

"One of the works is of a dancer’s face – but I’ve done it in profile as if on a coin –in the hopes of encouraging society to raise the value we place on our dancers," she says.

This is Ms Hendry’s first solo exhibition and coincides with the Parnell Rose Festival over the same weekend.

Kinder House is the Parnell heritage historical building at 2 Ayr St and the exhibition is open from 11am to 3pm daily.

East And Bays Courier