CHARLIE SMITH London is presenting Dominic Shepherd in the artist’s latest exhibition ‘Bare Foot Prophet’, where Shepherd responds to the progress of our times, channelled via his own idiosyncratic circumstances. Edging towards the end of an idyll, where development has come to interrupt a fifteen year reverie, the artist states: ‘this new body of work has been made to the sound of chainsaws and burning of trees that glow in the night’. Shepherd’s paintings during this period have become a personal record of an attempt to live apart from everyday contemporary society, where the woods have provided a canopy wherein have lain dream, imagination, fantasy and contemplation.
Shepherd’s method is to fuse life and work, refracting information from the ages with prismatic effect. Folkloric and cult cyphers are blended with the personal as Shepherd freezes time, casting his masquerading subjects in a fictionalised place that might just be real. There is a slippage of time and place where it becomes impossible to unravel reality from illusion. Shepherd’s paintings combine to elucidate a personal mythology populated by his very own deities, heroes, ancestors, and progeny.
‘I’ve been working with Dominic for approximately 15 years and this exhibition marks a subtle but fundamental evolution in his work. Dominic was previously living in Brixton, had a studio with Damien Hirst etc. at Minet Road, and then with Phil Allen in Vauxhall. He studied in the 80’s at Chelsea with Peter Doig and Chris Ofili and I think you can still see a shared interest in folk, landscape and colour. Its intriguing that when he started a family he decided to leave London, moving to a woodsman’s cottage in a clearing in a wooded estate in Dorset. He moved into his paintings’ – Zavier Ellis, CHARLIE SMITH, London.
Artlyst sat in on a conversation between the artist, Zavier Ellis, the Director of CHARLIE SMITH London, and Dr Gavin Parkinson, from The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Zavier Ellis is Director & Founder of Old St gallery CHARLIE SMITH LONDON and curatorial project Ellis Rumley Projects, specialising in progressive, emerging artists working in all mediums, especially London based. Co-curator of the independent museum scale exhibition for emerging to mid career artists THE FUTURE CAN WAIT. He is also a practising artist, exhibitions include Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre, Torrance Art Museum, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg and Paul Stolper, London.
Gavin Parkinson was educated at the University of Manchester (BA 1996) under the tutelage of David Lomas and subsequently completed his MA (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) under the supervision of Christopher Green at The Courtauld Institute of Art. He lectured at the University of Oxford (2004-07) before joining The Courtauld as Lecturer in European Modernism in 2008. He is currently Head of BA Admissions at The Courtauld and is Reviews Editor of the journal Art History and Series Editor of Ashgate Studies in Surrealism.
Dominic Shepherd: Bare Foot Prophet – 15 May to 20 June 2015