Clifton Pugh 'Red Sand Dune'

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Clifton Pugh is an iconic Australian artist and environmentalist. In 1954, he travelled across the Nullarbor with his friend Noel Macainsh, realising:

“the boundless extent of a land, paradoxically both harsh and delicate, together with the illimitable space above it.”

This perception of the land as a vessel for time, humanity and spirituality underlies both his art and environmentalism. Three years before visiting the Nullarbor, Pugh purchased land at Cottles Bridge: the eventual site of the artist’s community ‘Dunmoochin’. Instrumental in Australia’s conservation movement, the Dunmoochins worked to regenerate the land, witnessing first hand the degradation caused by feral animals.

In ‘Red Sand Dune’ Pugh’s adoration for the land is clear. Textual, expressionistic and cast in a saturated palette, this work celebrates Australia’s martian desserts. Fellow artist James Gleeson once described Pugh’s bushland as a battlefield between native and introduced species. Here however, tranquillity reigns: it is as though Pugh is warning of environmental threat through emphasising nature’s preciousness.

Across his career, Pugh won the Archibald Prize twice, was made an Officer of Order of Australia in 1985 and in 1990 was appointed Australia’s War Memorial’s official artist at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Gallipoli landing. His contributions to art were uncompromising, unique and bracing.


Clifton PUGH (1924 - 1990)
'Red Sand Dune' 1988
screenprint on paper
Edition of 70
Image Size: 74 x 110 cm
Dimensions: 81 x 121 cm
Signed: signed, titled and editioned in margin
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Condition: Very Good.
© The Artist or Assignee