David Humphrey
Field, Lawn, Sea
31st October-21st November

Opening reception: Friday 30th October 6-8pm

As a child I spent a lot of time exploring essentially flat places: the aftermath of having had polio meant exploring hilly places was too great a challenge. Out of that fait accompli came an enduring fascination with broadly flat environments: from marshes and foreshores to fields and their domesticated relation, lawns.
The locations I work in are typically characterized by being isolated places open to particular weather conditions: I’m drawn to bad weather on a marsh, flat light over the sea, a snow sky over a field. Such places are almost stage-like and often have their own discrete tableaux: a tree next to a field with a small pond nearby, two adjacent fields with different surface patterns, a gate dividing a hedge, a piece of topiary on a lonely lawn. The juxtaposition between such elements is what really fascinates me. My work explores such relationships and at the same time attempts to provide the viewer with opportunities to let their imagination drift off into the creation of their own environments: in essence to use my work as a portal to visiting real, remembered or imagined places.
My working practice has two distinct, but interrelated, modes: alla prima en plein air, and via a very consciously intuitive⁄evolutionary process in the studio. Working alla prima en plein air sets a stop point: it enables me to say ‘enough’. I’ve learnt that to move beyond that point, via reworking or additional working, effectively undermines the original vision for the work often to the point of destruction. The studio mode of working is associated with my background as a goldsmith and jeweller and might best be described as encompassing the magic of construction: taking materials and transforming them into objects via something approaching alchemy. Those materials are drawn from a personal lexicon in which materials have specific narrative associations.
What I make is the outcome of a very conscious journey: the journey from nothing to a tangible object. That journey is bound to the object and its progress from notion, via raw materials, to gallery wall: from sitting on a marsh in pouring rain to putting the work on the gallery wall. At which point I would hope that the object sets new journeys in motion.
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Project Gallery
63 High Street Arundel
West Sussex BN18 9AJ
Exhibiting Contemporary Art