David grew up in a family full of artists and tells me he was exposed early on to what beauty was about when he was dragged around the Louvre at the age of four. That his upbringing trained the eye and that he used to draw a lot as a child. Today he soaks up as much as he can of all kinds of art forms for inspiration: literature, classical music and particularly opera, music festivals, paintings, objects, history, landscapes, the outdoors and the sea.
Cumbria-based David tells me he got the inspiration for the umbrella figures in the underground at Victoria. As the train rushed pass, he caught a glimpse of a picture of Gabrielle Aplin holding an umbrella. The image stayed in his mind and later shaped the weather theme represented in his latest works.
“Suddenly with a model I see something that will grab me, an idea. You don't really know what will come out of it until you start working with them. It's has a lot to do with the relationship between the artist and the muse and what they bring to it,” he says thoughtfully, and adds frankly: “I'm always surprised by the women I end up working with as models; they are not necessarily the ones that others would choose.”
There is something profoundly youthful about David, mixed with the experience that comes with age an aura of quiet energy. His advice to aspiring artists is to draw, work hard, not to worry about it if the enthusiasm and will is there, and, to paraphrase Nike: to 'just do it'.
I ask him what he would like to achieve next in his career, and his response is quick: “A really big public piece.” David has done several public works in Hong Kong, Japan and Europe previously. He says he is excited to work with new patination techniques and a variety of colour. Does he consider his own work to be unique? “Yes and no. I only aim to do something really good, different and intense. The biggest joy as an artist is to observe people,” he points out.
When I leave the gallery and head out into the December cold it strikes me what a warm presence David has. Something that inevitably has given birth to and infused the female sculptures, who seem to come alive before the gaze of their observer, within their own space and on their own terms.
by Karin Wasteson, firstname.lastname@example.org