One day during the summer holidays in 1957, I was left in the care of my great grandmother. She didn’t break her weekly routine on my account and we took the bus to the pensioners, cut price, Wednesday matinee showing, at the ‘pictures’, in the nearby town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Nothing had hitherto prepared me, or I suspect, Granny Price, for the sight and sound of Little Richard on the big screen. Soon after, with saved up money, I bought my first record, ‘Lucille’ by Little Richard and became captivated by rock ‘n’ roll. During the next few years, I grew to love blues, jazz, soul and also, the sounds of Jamaica, which I first heard coming from an open window of a nearby house where Jamaican immigrants lived.
Throughout these years I travelled daily by train, to study at Bath Art Secondary School. We learned the main subjects, but the emphasis was on the visual arts, crafts, lettering, technical drawing and so on. I have many good memories of my time at the school and I’m grateful to my committed teachers for inspiring me.
It’s only natural that music and visual art became entwined in my consciousness.
Most of the artwork found here is a tribute to the singers, deejays, musicians, engineers and producers, who created a sound the world calls reggae.
A friend wrote this for an exhibition preview –
‘…these musicians and songs have gone on to inspire David’s own work. The artworks skilfully evoke the look, feel and sounds of the vinyl LP’s David has collected over the years and capture a real sense of what Jamaican music and culture is all about – bold ideas, big personalities, innovative techniques.’
I hope so, but my view of ‘Jamaican music and culture’, is that of an outsider. I’ve never been to Jamaica or followed a sound system. I’m an Englishman who has listened to and loved reggae for a long time. I hope my creations reflect this and that you enjoy viewing them as much I’ve enjoyed making them.
The artworks are made from cut up corrugated card boxes, brown paper, sticks and found materials. I use test pots of Ecos Organic Paints, pencils and crayons on surfaces.