On the Wild Side’ – Wildlife Artist Daryl Dickson
Looking at the work I am preparing for this exhibition there is no doubt that it represents a life-long passion for the natural world. Over the years I have aimed at capturing the essence, beauty and detail of the subjects I have painted. I continue to be inspired by visual beauty and colour but also by the amazing symmetry and designs that occur in nature. Illustrative painting in watercolour has been just one part and the most exhibited part of my art practice but I also work in acrylic, pen & ink, pencil and charcoal and have illustrated children’s books and dabbled in sculpture.
In recent years a recurring theme has appeared, one of “custodianship” – reflecting my hope that we will all work to conserve the wonderful creatures and landscapes that have inspired my art.
‘Senses and Soul of Place’ – Dr. Barbara Cheshire
Place is much more than what the physical senses perceive. Ecology focuses on a particular place and explores the relationships between living organisms and their environment. It highlights the fact that no living thing exists independently. The environment itself is not a static reality, but a vibrant system that sustains varied life forms and at the same time is in a relationship to them. They are shaped by it, but they in turn alter it and give it a distinctive character. The relationship that exists among these living things and their environment is one of interdependence.
When we humans come to a place, we tend to interact with it in relationship to ourselves. Whether it is a natural setting, like a park, or a place that is a product of human culture, like a city square, we place ourselves at the centre. We observe the place and draw conclusions about it in relationship to our experience. This is all OK on an everyday basis but what happens when we begin to see a place, not in reference to ourselves, but ecologically or spiritually?
To apply an ecological approach, we should look at a place as an interdependent system, as a network of relationships, and we should recognize that we are not just there as observers, but as part of that system; this doesn’t mean at the centre of the system but as a part of the whole, in a web of interdependence with it.
However, interdependence with place also means including the spiritual essence. Therefore, this work explores the dimension of awareness that links the study of sense reaction to place and to the spiritual in art. As such, place then becomes a meeting point of the artist and the Divine, where it becomes a liberating force to release the spiritual energy which is essential to create artistic works. The mechanism through which place affects my human condition is a combination of both intuitive and sensory perception; the senses observe the physical, but conceive the metaphysical. Nevertheless, the metaphysical is only seen when the internal landscape of the mind is prepared to perceive it.
By looking at this work, I would like to think the viewer might experience the influence that the combination of an ecological, sensory and spiritual interdependence with place has had on the creation of these art pieces.
Barbara Cheshire; Water Morning Compilation and Air Evening Compilation