Born in North Yorkshire in 1978, Now lives and works in Manchester. Open to contact regarding sales and commissions. I produce semi-abstract landscape based paintings and drawings using Acylic, Graphite,Oil and Resin on canvas.
John Davison’s paintings enter you as the sound of a full orchestra reaching its ecstatic, romantic climax would. This is a wholehearted and passionate immersion in texture, colour and form. Based on drawings of his neighbourhood forest in Yorkshire, Davison dances back and forth from the canvas building up an intensity of mood that equates to lines and outlines he’s experienced in nature and the feeling of coming into the forest from light or emerging from its shade.
In the robust and sublime ‘Red Earth’ series, the canvas is obliterated by multiple layers of brash, broody impasto. Here is the exuberance of undergrowth, of gore, laughter, birth, with emotions ranging from broody to explosive, under gutsy, dense foliage. These highly fecund landscapes exclude an almost thermal capacity. Davison seems to swoon and lose control in blasts of orange, swatches of smooth pink, and then reins it in creating harmony and structure. He delivers the immediacy, claustrophobia and wonder of an elemental landscape we could get lost in.
In his ‘pink Ground’ series, open heart surgery is conjured. Again we witness the viscerality of the human experience of being physical and vulnerable in the vastness of nature, but here the visceral power is enhanced by the white space left around it. A lighter palette creates a sense of pathways through the image. Red paint drips like veils, introducing another depth of plane. The sun is a leggy spider. There is a raspberry ripple attack of growth and a lyricism less muted than in previous work.
Green-tailed arcs create a hole to look through and a final outer dimension of perspective in the wood. This is spring.
Davison paints like an engine running but the organic source of his imagination is unquestioned as he captures both the big moments and the small details in nature. The paintings seem inexhaustible, giving the impression they could go on and on until they’ve made earth itself, returned to their origin. They bring together themes of interconnectedness and alchemy with a Whitmanesque vibrancy and abandon.
‘It’s as much the process of painting as the landscape in the work. I’d like to think they carry on beyond the canvas, like the landscape changes through seasons. I try to catch glimpses of beauty I’ve seen in the forest by walking away from the canvas and coming back, trying to surprise myself. I never stand still.’
Davison cites his influences as Ian Mckeever, Hughie O’Donaghue, Michael Porter and Katie Pratt. His energy, range and clarity of vision also recall New York painter Cecily Brown.
Cherry Smyth, Curator/Poet, 2003
Mud the squelch of a footprint, the dappled glimmer of light through leaves, dark damp sequestered bowers, tracks left recently? These are the moments/aspects that John Davison takes away with him from the woods and coppices and spinneys of the English landscape. Time and his memory put one with another until the image of a picture begins to cohere.
But by then John’s concerns have changed- more formal and abstract now: layout, colour, the tactility of paint, mark responding to mark, the pleasure of texture; These are what now govern his paintings growth and arrival.
Finally, now on a wall in a gallery, thanks to this evolution, what we confront is a new visualsacpe through which we can roam ourselves, catching glimpses of a landscape beyond and before. Enjoy the wander.
Richard Bridge, Florence Trust, 2002