"...The show is all about the detail of the town. Not on the surface, but what goes on underneath in terms of colours and shapes. Its form. Its character and the way I see it in both my familiar style and the abstract approach too." - David J Markham
A brand new show by David J Markham, exploring the colours, shapes and form of the town
David has been extremely busy over the last few months finalising the works for All the Colours and the Shapes of a Town, a brand new show exclusive to Gallery 42. The exhibition features 20 new works as well as a juxtaposition of styles. Whilst there will be some works in David's familiar, distinctly expressive pen & ink style, there are many in a new style of abstract oil painting.
The show will run for 2-3 weeks from opening (TBC) and the artist himself will be joining us on the preview evening on Friday 17th October to discuss his work, answer questions and officially open the show.
An interview with the artist:
David, very exciting to have you hosting another one-man exhibition with us, it's been a while. Can you tell us a little about what you've been doing creatively since 'The Art of Bricks' in 2012?
Is it really 2 years? Time flies. I've had a busy period. Late last year I got to sketch some rehearsals at Northern Ballet in Leeds and that was good fun. The paintings/drawings are ready and they'll see the light of day in the future. I've also been undertaking interviews for some internet magazines. I interviewed influential guitarist Andy Gill from Gang of Four and Horace Panter from The Specials. Horace is really interesting because he's made the leap from musician to working painter - while still playing to major audiences with The Specials. I also interviewed and reviewed the delightful folk singer Heidi Talbot when she passed through York. I've also appeared numerous times on the BBC York Breakfast Show to review the national Newspapers. So lots has been going on - not least of which has been developing an abstract style of my own.
'All the Colours and the Shapes of a Town' opens on Saturday 18th October. I wonder if you might summarise the show and what it's all about?
It's about looking on your doorstep for the beauty in a place. I've always thought it to be an honourable thing to do. Documenting buildings in Tadcaster has been a joy. There are some fabulous buildings in the town and while my artistic journey started in Tadcaster 6 years ago - I still marvel at the buildings there. The challenge has been to evolve my Pen and Wash style into abstract work yet retaining it's sense of beauty. My abstract approach has been used to capture the spirit of the place but equally it could be used to capture emotion or feeling too.
You were a big part of our Northern Artists show back in Spring 2014 and showed us a mix of subjects and mediums; would you say that was part of your preparation for this show?
Not really. I was approached by Gallery 42 to take part in the show. I didn't have any new paintings but I did have some paintings I was hanging on to and that is what we sold.
Tell us a little about the framing of the works?
Gallery 42 have done a great job. We've thought a lot about the framing. I think they're understated and elegant and really let the paintings sing through. They are fronted with glass for protection. They look cool.
Your exhibition is the first to take place in our rejuvenated and beautifully renovated gallery space. How do you feel about that? Has this influenced the works and their display?
Gallery 42 have always been good to me. They've put on 3 solo shows and I can't thank them enough. The new Gallery space is fabulous and everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome. Has it influenced my style? I'd have to say no but certainly the work sits there perfectly as I saw the framed work for the first time today.
There are 20 new works for this exhibition. How do they fit around your previous works and what direction do you see yourself continuing in hereafter?
There will be broadly speaking a 50/50 split between my familiar style and new abstract work. With the familiar style I think the work is sharper and there are some definitive pieces in the show. My abstract work evolves from the foundation of the Pen and Wash style. It's striking and minimalist. Intense colours with an air of romance. In many respects it's like a new language. Trying to convey the same message - but using English or French. Some will get it and some won't. I'm pleased with them though. I like to think my paintings are like jewels. They're supposed to shine. Hopefully I've achieved that.
As the title suggests, the exhibition discusses the importance of colour and shape within a town; can we expect to recognise the towns or buildings, is this a particular set of places; or will the colours and shapes be of the most importance here?
With 50% of the work there will be recognisable buildings and locations. With the other 50% there are references but that's all. The names may provide clues but ultimately I want people to enjoy the colours and shapes. I'm want them to look hard and let the work wash over and through their minds.
What do you hope people take away from the exhibition and its contents?
I guess I just want these jewels to shine as bright as stars - in peoples minds. Make them think. Make them look up and not down. If I can make people think then I guess I've done my job.