Issue 2 - 4 March 2013 enews home

Inspirational artist remembered for generosity and inspiring work


By Leanne Coleman


Inspirational artist Edgar Dunis will be remembered by CDU staff as a generous and creative person

A contributor to Charles Darwin University in more ways than one, the late Edgar Dunis will be remembered for his passion and his powerful and inspiring work.

After surviving both Russian and German invasions, Edgar Dunis escaped his native Latvia and arrived in Darwin in the late 1940s with just the shirt on his back.

Due to his skills as an electrical engineer, he became an invaluable asset to public works in post-war Darwin and was integral to the installation and upgrade of the diesel generators that powered the city.

During a rich and varied life, Mr Dunis' interests ranged from making canoes, which he paddled from Katherine to Daly River Police Station many times, to building his own house piece by piece. After a stint as a life model for art students, Mr Dunis completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986.

His creativity bloomed in his higher education studies. He was Founding Member of the Darwin Visual Arts Association and aged 87 held his first solo sculpture exhibition.

Mr Dunis was a CDU alumnus since 2001 and one of its major donors. In 2006 he donated two scholarships for visual arts students in the form of a bank share portfolio. Two $5000 scholarships were funded by the shares every year. He has also donated property to the university.

The Edgar Dunis Scholarships laid a foundation to assist emerging artists to participate actively in creative work, and the environment where they can experience the artistic process, collaborate, reflect and turn ideas into realities.

Throughout his 80s, Mr Dunis continued to be a long standing supporter of CDU, in particular the School of Creative Arts, and was a member of the CDU Foundation since 2000.

The staff and students of CDU will fondly remember Mr Dunis, who passed away recently.