"Over the past few years I have been aware that I have wanted to reconnect with my Celtic heritage, being mostly Scottish and Irish in decent. I felt this most keenly two years ago on returning to the Highlands and Islands I had known as a child. The places that have remained emblazoned in my mind as magical and awe inspiring.
"I had started to take the Hindu gods that I employ in my painting narrative to suggest the lexicon of human emotions, and to place them in settings not usually connected with the standard Iconography. This created a strange tension in the images, not just because my colour palette favours the Scottish Colourists and the subject matter is Hindu devotional, but also the association and context is fractured and can free float in a different mind space.
"I have transported the gods and devotees in a playful way so they can explore and interact with a new dimension of mysticism. For this part I have created the figure of Saint Kilda who never actually was a living Catholic saint. I wanted to personify the spirit of the islands as a welcoming figure for the gods. The island of Saint Kilda lies 40 miles out in the Atlantic, the furthest of all the British coastal islands, the hardest to get to and the most mysterious. I have never been to it, but like its Irish counterpart skellig Michael, it burns in my imagination. I also wanted to introduce the Selchie myths into the narrative drive. These are ancient Scottish folk tales of seals taking human form and marrying fishermen or townspeople. These stories are wonderfully collected and retold by David Thomson in his book The People Of The Sea. This has been a major influence along with my deep and continuing love of the lives and deeds of the Hindu gods, especially the Krishna Bhaktu and the poet Mirabia.
"The combination of the intimate and the grandiose, of animals, gods and the wild open sea are the elements that have collided to create a new visual vocabulary in my painting."
David studied at Harrow School of Art and at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London.
See David's 2011 Rowley Gallery Christmas card here.
Stay For The Rain, Penny Fielding Gallery, Walthamstow
Apocalypse Of Love, Lauderdale House, Highgate
Saint Kilda, Saint Krishna, Lauderdale House, Highgate
Animal Messengers, Lauderdale House, Highgate
Gallery 39, London
Christmas Show, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Award, Mall Galleries, London