This is a taster of how Damien works! He will be showing a different body of work on Saturday night, so this is to get everyone a bit excited. We’ll see you at 6.
1. As a practicing artist what are the issues\concerns you have been consistently addressing within your artwork?
At the moment my work is concerned with exploring stories within stories, I’ve been exploring multi layered narratives, differing perspectives and hidden meaning with in metaphor, symbolic education/communication thru fable, and a visual language that speaks to the emotions rather than the intellect.
I think a major theme that reoccurs in my work is the notion of duality, light/dark, visible/veiled, innocence/experience etc. This occurs both physically and conceptually. At times the work attempts to reconcile opposing elements in a yin yang like fashion, (more often in an entire body of work), other times celebrating contrast and the knowing that the struggle between opposites is inevitably endless and in that, a tragic beauty.
2. Do you classify your art as being one thing more than the other e.g. photography, film, painting, sculpture, music or installation and do you see an expansion into other mediums in the future?
I’ve spent the last few years painting mostly, but I decided early with this body of work that I wanted to create a sense of diversity amongst the works. It includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, 2d assemblages, drawn and photographed animations, sound, projections and film work.
Essentially I’m a painter that does other shit sometimes.
3. When you think about making new work do you always consider applying a degree of historical content or do the works weigh more heavily towards a more personal investigation?
I don’t at any point sit down and think I am going to make either one, of the two though my work is predominantly of a personal nature, but that being said, all of my work, its content and physicality is influenced by all that I come in contact with, whether it’s a dusty book on Butoh in the Library, an anniversary TV special on 9/11 or my daughter losing a tooth.
As an artist one cannot create in a vacuum, (no matter how hard one tries). We are influenced by what has been done, what is being done, we steal, borrow and try and stand on shoulders but It’s the personal filters one applies to historical and popular cultural influence that’s makes ones work more personal.
And though this work references historical characters like Arthur Rimbaud , William Shakespeare, Daedalus and Icarus, and other references ranging from Japanese Butoh dance to the wild west, I don’t consciously consider making works based on popular accounts of history or herstory and in that way I guess It’s more personal.
4. When you look back through this body of work do you see any answers unfolding within this investigation?
In terms of subject matter, the process almost always reveals many more questions than it does answers to questions. I’m still kind of tinkering with this body of work so it’s a little soon. I always need to distance myself from the work physically and for a period of time to then be able to look at them for those answers.
The French writer Henri Michaux wrote that ‘The poet creates , and then understands…sometimes.’
I love that it is not essential to find answers unfolding, but when they do appear they’re often to questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask.