I use the nom d’ plume ‘Davardo’. It’s a take on all the pretensions of the Art World. I’ve made efforts as a creative of one sort or another for as long as I can remember. I don’t really adhere to any particular style or genre preferring to steer my own course. I like to explore ideas based on biographical experiences. My own and others. Allegory is another factor in some of my work. I regard the expressionist approach as an example to consider. I’m also influenced by the constructivists in my object making.

Hi David! How did your artistic journey start?
I don’t remember not being on an artistic journey. Neither of my parents were particularly artistic. However they were both quite creative in their own ways. My mother wrote stories for kids and my father paid meticulous attention to making fly fishing tackle like tiny, highly detailed flies. So I suppose they had an influence on me one way or another.

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
Some of the inspiration for my work has come from my experiences with the criminal justice community. Even prior to working directly in the criminal justice system I was concerned with depicting transgressive situations such as domestic abuse, addiction, social isolation and exclusion and borderline criminality in organised religion and politics.

Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know, by David Martin

How has your practice changed over time?
It has and it hasn’t changed. Obviously experience of the world around us changes the way you perceive things over time; that’s called learning. However, many of the tropes and observations I depict in my work have remained with me since I started creating work and have maintained a kind of momentum for better or worse.

How do you overcome creative blocks?
I’ve had so called ‘creative blocks’ some of which have lasted, in some instances, for several years or many months at least. I don’t really regard these periods as necessarily appertaining to a lack of creative inspiration. Rather they are more about other things getting in the way of artistic expression. They have more than often come about because of career interventions or circumstances that get in the way too much.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Be determined to stick to your goals and do your best not to let other things impede them. Being an artist is a form of ever challenging journey and once you’re on that path there are often obstacles in the way. You must develop strategies to overcome those barriers and, when possible, utilise them to inform your vision.

Can you elaborate on the significance or symbolism of the chosen title of your work?
I think that the title of this piece is fairly self-explanatory. Having said this, as often as not the title of a piece of work might change over the course of time from its original conception through to its completion and sometimes even beyond that. Titles are very important to me and sometimes I feel like I have to ‘try on’ a few different ones, like trying on a pair of shoes or an outfit before the right one fits the work. It can be understood from this, that I rarely begin with a particular title. Instead, I’d rather have it find me.

See David’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find him on Instagram @david6244martin

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