The Unreal city is a collection of explorations into to different genres by the artist George Dawnay.
Born on June 18 , 1970 to Charles and Adrian Dawnay , George was the second child of a lively family of four. Charles Dawnay was a soldier in the Cold War British Army. Adrian was an artist passionate about literature, poetry and painting,passing on her knowledge to all her children. They were in many ways an average middle class family except with Charles Dawnay's job there was a lot of moving around first Berlin for four years in the early Seventies and then on to America and a short time in Zimbabwe during the eighties. Growing up in the this way meant the children got to experience vastly different cultures in a short space of time.
By The late 1980s George was living in London and had a glimpse of a type of stability he had not had while growing up.
"I woke up the morning after my 24th birthday feeling empty and lost, in 1994 the last 5 years had been a complete blur of all the bitter sweet delights that London had to offer back then. I didn't want any more to do with it, that day I planned my escape."
Drawing and painting were encouraged from an early age, watching their mother Adrian working on murals had given the elder two brothers a glimpse into the life of a working artist whose confidence and variety of styles and scope were to set a standard to which each in turn would gauge himself.
"Our mother was completely fearless back then, no project seemed at all daunting to her, Her training had been academic yet the minute she left art school she did whatever she wanted, turning her hand to printing, portraiture ,large compositions with multiple figures to painting delicate water colors of her favorite flowers and using whatever materials were at hand to do it."
George started formal study in Drawing and Painting with Charles Weed in London in 1994 .
The studies were typical of the 19th century academic style that Weed had perfected. After about a year Weed invited George to continue his training at the Florence Academy on Art in Italy.
"Charles had got himself a Job down there and he needed a ride. I had a beaten up vw and strong urge to leave town"
So begin 6 years of study and training In Italy and the beginning of a fascination with the medieval that echoes in George's work to this day.