Ed Douglas: The Lure of Unrealised Desire

7 April – 7 May 1994
The Lure of Unrealised Desire is a visionary exhibition which has evolved physically from discarded photographic fragments taken by Ed Douglas from the School of Art’s darkroom rubbish bin. The artist sees this unusual image source as expressing aspects of Carl Jung’s notion of the ‘collective unconscious’. Exposed to light, the photographic scraps acquire a range of mineral colours – deep chemical blues and purples, cold browns and sickly oranges – all of which invade the tenuous remnants of rejected landscapes and faces.

Much amplified, these found images are used to construct new ideas and meanings which have been influenced by the artist’s literary interests in the areas of psychology and myth. A narrative work The Lure of Unrealised Desire depicts a masculine mythic journey. Douglas freely admits to being influenced by a subjective reading of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Douglas obtained his Master of Fine Arts at the San Francisco State University, where he worked with Jack Wellpott, John Guttmann and Imogen Cunningham. He was a founding member of the Visual Dialogue Foundation, established in the early 1970s. Since settling in Australia in 1973, Douglas has exhibited extensively and is represented in a number of collections including the CSR Collection, the National Gallery of Australia and the Parliament House Collection.

A University of South Australia Art Museum exhibition. Catalogue essay by John Neylon.