Napier Dunn arrived in South Africa as a baby after
his father, Edward Dunn, had been appointed musical
director of the Durban Civic Orchestra.
Napier started school at Treverton (Mooi River) and
went to Hilton Road for a brief spell before
Durban's Glenwood High School.
He later joined his
father's orchestra where he played
for two and a
Being a rather wild and unruly French horn player,
his father decided to send him to England to join the
Grenadier Guards Band where he received more than
fair share of spit and polish, army discipline and
band experience. After studying at the
of Music he started freelancing with
ballet and opera
companies before returning to
South Africa to play with
the SABC Symphony
Orchestra in Johannesburg for
Then it was back to England and after working at
non-musical jobs, he became a member of the
Philharmonic Orchestra - probably the
pinnacle of his
orchestral performing career.
Ever seeking further adventures and new pastures
(or orchestras) he sailed out to Australia and worked
at various manual jobs until he joined the Queensland
Symphony Orchestra. He later travelled with the
Australian Ballet Company (not as a dancer) and
played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
months. It was during this time
many long orchestral rehearsals by
musicians and began selling a few
cartoons and caricatures
to them. However, it wasn't
until he went to Hong Kong via
and Borneo that he became serious
It was later in Hong Kong, where Napier
the Hong Kong
Philharmonic, that he was able
cartoons to the local newspaper. It wasn't long
before he started selling his work on a regular basis.
A year later he packed his pencils and headed off to
Japan where he taught English and got a job with the
Mainchi Daily News in Tokyo for three years.
Learning to speak reasonable Japanese, Napier then
off to explore Japan.
After another three years the wanderlust struck
Working his way on a cruise ship, he arrived in San
Francisco (still his favourite city) where he stayed,
freelanced with various newspapers and magazines
eventually bought a camper van to travel and
way across the States and back.
Four years later he sailed up to Alaska, and worked
Anchorage for 14 months, sketching and working
local paper before life in the twilight zone
depressing and he decided to return to
Here, Napier spent several years working
for the South
China Morning Post, teaching English,
learning Tai Chi
(Chinese exercises), working as
lecturer and entertainer
on cruise ships and
developing watercolour techniques.
In 1991 he returned to South Africa working his
a container ship to take up a position as
illustrator with The Mercury.
Napier Dunn, a self taught artist, practised
played tennis regularly, played golf badly,
practiced his six
ethnic musical instruments,
and worked as
an occasional tour
He recently gave a
number of cartoon
and demonstrations at
various schools and clubs.