Six Foot Gallery is delighted to present its annual spring show, Awakenings, featuring twenty-seven artists working in a diverse range of mediums and disciplines including sculpture, soundscapes, textiles, collage, video, woodturning, jewellery, photography, screenprinting, performance, and painting.

David uses the nom d’ plume ‘Davardo’ which he believes takes on all the pretensions of the Art World. He has made efforts as a creative of one sort or another for as long as he can remember. He doesn’t adhere to any particular style or genre, preferring to steer his own course. He likes to explore ideas based on biographical experiences; his own and others. Allegory is another factor in some of his work. He regards the expressionist approach as an example to consider. He is also influenced by the constructivists in his object-making.

Hi David! How did your artistic journey start?
I was a bit of a late starter. I had always wished to go to art school and follow my artistic dream but I dropped out of education with few qualifications and never really thought it might happen. However, I was encouraged by a partner to pursue my dream and I went to Dundee College of Commerce to do an ND in Point of Sale Graphics and take A Levels. After this, I secured a place on the Foundation course at St Martins in London and then went to Chelsea School of Art to do a BA Hons in Fine Art, Painting. I eventually became a Senior Lecturer at the Kent Institute of Art & Design (latterly re-designated University of Creative Arts, UCA). whilst there I did my Masters in Graphic Fine Arts and I’ve continued with my art practice throughout.

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
The two works I have submitted are from quite different trajectories and are also thematically differentiated. On the one hand, the figurative piece describes aspects of the artistic journey through my practice quite directly. It is occupied by a small host of characters who represent various archetypes from early childhood and into adulthood. The assemblage piece is possibly more arcane in that it doesn’t make any sense. This is intentional. The title alludes obliquely to the so-called ‘auld alliance’ between Scotland and France and the contrast between the lavish and overwhelmingly decorative style of France with that of the austere manner of Scot’s culture of the time. Coupled with the dictate that forbids the wearing of a hat in the church. 

How has your practice changed over time?
It has changed by a degree over time. I have always followed a divergent path in one way or another. What has changed in this regard has been the nature of my life experiences and the effect that has had on my work.

Which artists inspire you? Are there non-artistic influences such as literature or music that impact your work?
The question of what artists inspire is similar in some respects to asking: what’s your favourite colour, song, biscuits or whatever else. I’ve always taken an interest in the work of artists, a great many of whom have been inspirational in one way or another for good or ill. Similarly, a diverse range of music has been a great inspirational experience for me. 

What challenges did you experience during the creation of your work and how did you overcome them?
The challenges that come with creating a work of art are inherently personal but they also are required to be universal for the work to resonate with others. It’s finding ways to connect your ideas to your practice to create associations that’ll make this possible. That is what needs to be accomplished. 

What do you do to keep motivated and interested in your work?
I think there’s a great deal of potential for motivation in the way one encounters the world and the challenges inherent in depicting the most egregious aspects of it, in certain circumstances, in a manner that can only be brought about through the creative processes inherent in artistic expression. By investing the time and effort into elucidating these concepts with a modicum of humour or even pathos, I think the artist can convey the shared experience, feelings, anxieties and pleasures of many others using his or her art as a means of communication.

Will your next project be a continuation of your current style or are you experimenting with something different? Can you share a glimpse of your next project?
My next project is utilising a novel mixture of media and materials. I’m exploring and experimenting with new techniques and materials to develop my ideas about some of the most important aspects of what’s happening in the world today. These have allowed me to address some of the key ideas that have plagued my imagination for some time and made it possible for me to develop a better way to depict them.

You can find out more about David and his work on his Instagram @davardo_artist
Awakenings runs at Six Foot Gallery until Friday 24th May.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *