Derek Dickinson, Behold, 2022£ 1,075.00
Derek DickinsonFigurative Study in Payne's Grey on Pink, 2022Acrylic and muslin on canvas100 x 70 x 4 cmDerek Dickinson, Figurative Study in Payne's Grey on Pink, 2022£ 2,340.00
Derek Dickinson, Figurative Study in Ultra Blue 02, 2022£ 3,055.00
Derek Dickinson, Figurative Study in Ultra Blue 03, 2022£ 3,055.00
Derek Dickinson, Figurative Study on Ultra Blue, 2022£ 3,055.00
Derek Dickinson, Figure in Silver Grey, 2020£ 1,430.00
Derek Dickinson, Figure in Yellow and Red 01, 2020£ 1,560.00
Derek Dickinson, Within, 2018£ 4,335.00
Derek Dickinson’s practice is strongly autobiographical, considering challenging aspects of life, such as depression, addiction, and anxiety. Movement is a key factor in his work, an abstraction of fluid forms which reflects his interest in the endeavour of existence. Dickinson’s canvas works, employing acrylic paint and muslin, explore spirituality through textural forms. Over time these conceptual expressions of emotion have become more figurative. His minimalist canvases’ rich textures reveal delicate and sensual figures.
These figures or forms are also seen in his current work with film, sound, and performance. The work reflects on finding strength in vulnerability, using process and gestures to create an ambiguous bodily language. A sense of uncertainty around exposure is explored through the presenting the self and personal experience. His production process expresses catharsis which is tempered by reflection in the exhibited work. These films have a painterly quality, using light and movement to evoke a chiaroscuro quality.
Artists including Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon and Bill Viola have influenced the work highlighting the complex relationship between artist and artwork and perhaps prompting the viewer to reflect on their experience of being human.
Born 1960 in Plymouth, UK
Lives and works in Duchy of Cornwall Estate, UK
2022 MA Fine Art, University of Plymouth, Plymouth
2010 BA (Hons) Fine Art, University of Plymouth, Plymouth
2019 Scholars, St Germans
2018 Scholars, St Germans
2016 Long Gallery , St Germans
2012 The Pipe Gallery, Plymouth, UK
2009 The Gallery, Liskeard, UK
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2022 MA Contemporary Art Practice, Graduation Show, University of Plymouth, UK
2021 KARST Gallery, Plymouth, UK
Gallery Shtorm Inaugural Online Exhibition
Equilibrium & Chaos, Gallery Shtorm in residence at Royal Opera Arcade Gallery
2020 Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
2019 Host Galleries, Plymouth, UK
2017 Artmill Gallery, Plymouth, UK
2016 Artmill Gallery, Plymouth, UK
2015 Artmill Gallery, Plymouth, UK
2012 Modern Artist Gallery, Pangbourne, UK
2010 Royal William Yard, Plymouth, UK
2009 Royal William Yard, Plymouth, UK
The Gallery, Liskeard, UK
Tell us about yourself. What is your background and where did you grow up?
How have your life experiences shaped your work?
I was born in 1960 in a public house in Plymouth city centre. In 1970 my parents relocated the family to another public house in a small village in south east Cornwall. It was there, in my room above the pub, that my relationship with art began. I started to sketch and paint at this early age; finding it to be something of my own, my sanctuary, a place of escape from the world around me, a world I often found harsh and frightening. From childhood I suffered from feelings of alienation, being and feeling different from my contemporaries.
My school years were a difficult time, my only interests were in the arts. I excelled in technical drawing, art, woodwork and crafts - anything that was creative. I struggled with other subjects, as it was not until much later in life that I was diagnosed with dyslexia. At the time of my early education dyslexia was unfortunately unrecognised.
On reflection, I now consider this emotionally complex period - throughout my development from childhood through adolescence, and into early adulthood - carved a pathway to my issues of mental instability and vulnerability. I feel this period of my life had a profound impact on the work I was making in my formative years and continues to manifest itself in my work to date. These experiences have shaped my practice, which investigates the human condition and reflects upon my existence.
Having finished my schooling at sixteen, with few qualifications, I fell into an apprenticeship in hairdressing. I took to this profession with ease and progressed rapidly, leading to salon management and part time lecturing at Plymouth City College.
In 1983 I relocated to London and worked my way to becoming a designer and stylist for film, photography, television, video and performance, and an assistant director on music videos, in artist management and PR, predominantly associated with the music industry.
Why did you become an artist and what has been your journey up to this point?
I don't consider I became an artist I feel I was born and artist, it just took me some time to gain the confidence to fully embrace it. I was so painfully shy and self-doubting regarding my work that I used to keep it all hidden and locked away in a wardrobe. The few close friends I trusted enough to show my work reassured me that I had talent and encouraged me to embrace that talent and expose it to the world.
The doubt and insecurity I have experienced, in regard to my work, was sometimes so great that I have wondered how I continued, yet I felt compelled to proceed with my creative activities, feeling my life would be incomplete without this expression. I now consider that it might possibly have been my ability to produce art that improved my mental state, enabling me to live a happier existence.
My further education began in 2009 at Plymouth City College, where I gained an access to higher education diploma, leading directly on to the BA Fine Art course at the University of Plymouth. After spending a decade working alone in my studio, feeling isolated, needing to engage with other artists, also wanting the opportunity to explore further my work with moving image, I returned to the University of Plymouth embarking on the MA Fine Arts course.
What is an average day in your studio like and what is your routine?
For me there is no such thing as an average day in the studio and I tend not to adhere to a routine. Sometimes I begin work and if things don’t go well I walk away, other times I might push on through. I tend to have times when I’m quite prolific and other times when I struggle to produce anything at all. If things don’t go well in the studio I often return to my office and work on film and sound editing.
What is your creative process?
When attempting a new piece of studio work, I often begin with a vision of what I hope to express, be it portraiture, figurative, or a scape of some kind. I have a picture, a vision, in my mind as to how I intended the piece to appear on completion. Somewhere throughout this process, this controlled approach would often change, and the work would begin to flow, I lose awareness of myself, and of time. This is when I feel my best work arrives.
To create my paintings, I first soak strips of muslin in paint before throwing them onto the canvas, attempting to capture a moment in time, a shape, a figure. Then, working back into the muslin, bringing the figure to the fore. I likened this process to a performance, using a burst of chaotic emotion as the impetus to throw the muslin, then returning to control and refine the composition. Over time I began creating the figures on board, allowing me to develop their interplay before transferring them to the canvas.
As well as a painting practice a more recent development has seen me returning to moving images and sound. The figures or forms present in my canvas works are also present in the work with film, sound, and performance. My films have a painterly quality, using light and movement to evoke a chiaroscuro quality.
How do you choose a medium for your work? Do you prepare and plan or do you improvise and experiment?
My choice of medium very much depends on what I am trying to express at the time. For the most part I work on canvas with acrylic paint and muslin. On occasion I have engaged in the use of oil paints, invoking a somewhat slower process. I very much enjoy the processes of working with video and sound, but unfortunately since the completion of the MA this has become somewhat restricted by the lack of access to studios and technical support.
Preparation and planning very much depends on the medium I am working in. When working on canvas I tend to be more spontaneous, when I over-plan things can become complicated and sometimes over-worked. When working with moving image and sound there is a lot more control and planning necessary, yet the spontaneity when filming can often produce the more interesting results.
I have used muslin as a medium for more than a decade. My attraction to this material evolved from a time I discovered several old muslin bandages amongst my grandmother’s belongings, found after her death. One day I began experimenting with these bandages, incorporating them in my work, seeing and using them as metaphors for physical pain, mental suffering, and the process of healing.
My interest in this material grew, I began buying reams of muslin fabric and using it on a much larger scale in my three dimensional and installation works. I began using unique reliefs of the muslin on stretched canvas, creating form, and revealing eclectic, emotional expressions through contortions of paint-soaked fabric.
Are your works conveying a message? Is there a narrative or a story to your
My practice is strongly autobiographical, considering the challenging aspects of life, such as depression, addiction, and anxiety. Movement is a key factor in my work, an abstraction of fluid forms reflecting my interest in the endeavour of existence. My canvas works that employ acrylic paint and muslin, exploring spirituality through textural forms.
Over time these conceptual expressions of emotion have become more figurative. Elements of soulful musicality and dance are present in the work which explores the philosophy of the performer and reflects on human vulnerability. The minimalist canvases’ rich textures reveal delicate and sensual figures.
I have a fascination with performers, including Rudolf Nureyev and Vaslav Nijinsky, for their undying commitment to their art despite the suffering it can often entail. I used the image of the performer as a symbol for human suffering.
Dreaming in Colour and Shape15 Jan - 15 Apr 2023Daa Art is proud to present, “Dreaming in Colour and Shape”, an exhibition of fascinating artworks that elicit our senses through pure patterns of form, colour and line. The curated pieces exhibit a variety of artworks that explore the concept of abstract art through calligraphy, geometric shapes, and gestural marks that often have no relation at all to an external visual reality. The exhibited artworks challenge our perception and show us a vivid alternate reality using saturated palettes, ambiguous bodily language and reconfiguration of forms and shapes.