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FORM and CONTENT:
Form and content provide a structure for David’s art as he strives to incorporate both into his creations. Art without these can become decorative or impenetrable, neither really drawing the viewer into the work.
Form is the appearance of the work that provides the viewer access. It is the visual aspect that stimulates an aesthetic response from the viewer. Form can often be equated to the emotional side of a work that stimulates feelings in the viewer.
Content is the meaning behind the work. It is the message that causes the viewer to realize other aspects of the art then what they might initially perceive. It is often associated with the intellectual messages contained within a work.
David has worked on a variety of themes over the years and currently the arbutus tree from the West Coast of Canada provides him with his subject matter. He has chosen to paint, however, in an interpretive rather then a realistic style. The trees have been simplified to their basic structure, smooth surface and colour. Leaves and berries have been left out, but occasionally David uses pattern and texture to provide a lively surface.
Even though these trees are from another part of nature they become symbolic of aspects of humanity. Arbutus trees twist and turn and the progressive narrowing of branches parallels arteries, veins and capillaries in our human bodies. People who see David’s work sometimes see human anatomy before they see the “tree”. Dance like movements or their inter-twining arrangements provide other anthropomorphic parallels for the viewer.
He has also worked with mechanical insects an idea that started in play but quickly grew into a theme because it reflected a reality in the world. In parts of China fruit trees have to be hand pollinated because the bees have disappeared, so mechanical creatures indicate a need to replace something that has been lost. In reality insects will outlive humankind but manufactured creatures implies that we have stepped well beyond the limits of neglect for this world.
David has also worked with erosion as a theme after seeing beautiful rock formations on the Gulf Islands during vacations. The actions of waves and wind on these coastal sandstone stripped away external mass to reveal underlying structures. Valleys, hills, bridges and wells that we would expect in the regular landscape can also be found in miniature within these rock formations, so that fantastical places can be discovered.