CHARLIE SMITH London presents Dominic Shepherd in the artist’s latest exhibition ‘Bare Foot Prophet’. In this exhibition Dominic 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.
The bare foot prophet lives in the wilds, against the mainstream. Proto hippies such as Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach and Gustav Nagel lived by their own codes, intentionally positioning themselves against convention. Embracing nature; rejecting the institutional; reinterpreting the commonplace, the bare foot prophet finds truth in nature and formulates his own mythologies.
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.
Dominic Shepherd: Bare Foot Prophet – 15 May to 20 June 2015