“You are what you eat,” a phrase David picks and runs with this in his recent solo exhibit at the Redhill art gallery. He majestically layers a narrative to be in line with his execution of the work. This, for the audience to peep, peel and behold that which lies without, in between and within the work. Thus the show living up to its name, “Bar code; The layer between.”
David interrogates patterns of acquisition and consumption and how they mold our identities. This is through people’s preferences to things that are not initially from them, deeming these things as The alien elements. He looks at how we perceive The alien to be of greater value than what is from us. We set aside that which is innate to us to consume The alien. Layer after layer, it piles up in us till change in our identity is brewed. It is a process of change since one acquires a new identity through consumption. He marries the theoretic and physical processes to come up with a fresh body of work (which happens to be yet another marriage of his paintings and sgraffito paper works.)
David picks up from his paintings and prepares his papers with subtle glazes of paint. He then scratches the paper on top of different patterns; both regular and irregular, as one would acquiring new ideas and products in life. In the acquisition process, one would naturally pull together a myriad of foreign influences, thus he seeks patterns from different spaces. The figures are then placed in the composition. The figures are almost void but pull you in with their eyes. For you to empathize with.
Like the figures, his symbols represent relativity in ideas as viewed by different individuals. To take the cows home, he distorts the symbols. This also goes against the normal way of instructions on packaging. The alien is then brought in with sgraffito paper cutouts, to marry the two entities, not by similarity rather by difference. With that process, the acquisition and consumption of a new element occurs. The identity change.
At the end, one is left with a question, “what do you eat?”
Photos courtesy of @lukwatphotography