Francis Dutton was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and grew up on the family sheep station, Anlaby, 110kms north. He attended art school in Sydney & Adelaide, and has travelled in Mexico, Europe, Fiji & the US.

In 1992 Francis moved to the Blue Mountains, 100kms west of Sydney, NSW. From 2007 to 2012 he ran a mosaic class with the elderly residents of a local nursing home, where he also had a studio. In June 2017 he relocated to South Australia.

Francis began making assemblages from found objects in the mid-1980s. Since 1999 he has worked in recycled plastic, much of it found on beaches, including the heavily polluted beaches on the west coast of Hawai’i and northern Queensland. He has instigated a relationship with volunteer organisation Tagaroa Blue, who remove plastic etc. from beaches in Queensland & elsewhere.

“Ever since my teenage years, I’ve been interested in the artificial environment,” says Dutton. “At age 16,  I was making pictures of traffic-light intersections that gave them a kind of anthropomorphic quality. In the 1980s I began using the paisley-like design on Hygenic Lily-brand styrofoam cups to make a background on which to paint landscapes, etc. with oil colours. My contention is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the natural & the artificial environments, and beach plastic proved to be the ideal medium in which to express this idea .”

Francis acknowledges the importance of music in what he does, both for the creative energy it gives him, and for its rhythmic and other qualities. “A lot of my assemblages are quite rhythmic in nature” he says.  Francis presented an alternative-and-roots music program on Radio Blue Mountains 89.1 from 1993-2017, and has executive-produced albums by Australian band Dirtbird & US singer/songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Kristin Hersh. See links page.

Francis Dutton has exhibited in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, NSW regional galleries and on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. He is represented in private collections in Australia, the US & England.