I make abstract, often minimalist and repetitive, work exploring the patterns and processes of Nature, especially the interplay between chaos and order, intellect and emotion. My aim is to gently challenge the viewer’s perceptions, to prompt you to question what is it we really see – or don’t see – when we look at the world around us or peer at an artwork. I am increasingly interested in what is unseen, hidden, erased or yet to be revealed.

David SmithMy #Letter365 installation was the culmination of a year-long process of, every day, creating an original artwork, sealing it in an envelope and delivering it to the gallery. At the end of the year all the envelopes were displayed but the contents only revealed if and when sold. Thus the work continued to evolve over the weeks of the exhibition, with an element of performance and unsold pieces being publicly destroyed at the end.

I continued to explore similar ideas but in a very different format for my show at Black Swan Arts, Frome, in November 2015. Instead of limiting myself to the confines of a C5 envelope much of the new work for “Black Squares, Black Lines & Black Magic” was on a far bigger scale, including a return, after very many years, to works on canvas. Black lines have been a defining feature of much of my work over the last few years, but exploring the constraints of black squares was a more recent fascination resulting from a series of coincidences, conversations and revelations that ranged from alchemy to Twitter via Malevich and Bob Law.

The “Black Squares” exhibition was a major commitment and some other themes and directions got put on hold while I focused on it. Since then I have picked up where I left off but with the ideas enriched by the Black Squares process.  My erasure and redaction work is related even more to the landscape. I am fascinated by the way the traces of history and events are never completely eradicated: barely perceptible traces of every action remain like DNA signatures capable of being read by those with the knowledge and technology. These traces forever influence the present, whether we know it or not.

I trained as a sculptor and printmaker in the days when art schools still taught things like drawing and colour theory.  I was extremely fortunate to have spent 2 years at Colchester School of Art where artists such as Tim Holding, John Carter, Philip Ardizzone, Richard Bawden, Michael Buhler, Hugh Cronyn, Richard Pinkney and others influenced the direction of my life as well as my art.  Three years at Kingston – where David Nash was a visiting lecturer – then gave me time to follow my own inspirations in sculpture and printmaking.

I live and work on the Dorset Jurassic Coast where the landscape eternally delights and inspires me.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. jilly morris

    love your work…..have spent the afternoon with back ache and your website….I met you briefly at the Black Swan Open….you liked my work! I really hate crowds…so for me the private view was difficult…I was not at my best, but thank you so so much for taking the time out to chat to me. I have found your website inspiring….and feel free to count me in if you do some other collaborative projects….yes I now see what you mean you have done a few collaborations! Love the black squares idea wonderful….infact what a talented man you are. Hope you get all your colleges done by christmas. I spent three months posting bits to an artist I did not know, we learnt so much about each other just through our responses, it was a fascinating project. Culminating in a show at museum in the park in stroud, we made a series of ‘raw ribbons’….anyhow just wanted to say hello, and to say if your in Bristol, feel free to come and see me at my studio…. Jilly x

    1. David Smith Post author

      Thank you Jilly. I’ve just sussed who you are. You did the Observatory residency didn’t you? I think I may have written to you after that (or not because I couldn’t get your email address our some lame excuse) as there were so many things in your work that I liked from that project. I gave you my card so why not drop me a line with your contact details then we can converse better. Thank you again for your kind comments

  2. Jo Doerr

    Hello David, I really like your work. Can you tell me how I might go about buying some please. I live in Kent.
    Many thanks,
    Jo Doerr


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