Exhibition: David Heathcote – Beyond Horizons, GV Art Gallery, London, until April 21 2011
© Courtesy GV Art Gallery, London. Photo: Peter Kidd
David Heathcote is an artist who sounds almost spiritual when he discusses the artistic reawakenings he has gone through. Sixty-four years after he began studying at Canterbury College of Art as a young Kent cubist, his style is still evolving.
“I think about myself as an art student at Canterbury and the Slade, mistakenly convinced, as I would be for years, that landscape in my painting should always be subordinate to figures,” he sagely rues.
“Yet I had grown up and often lived with landscape all around me. I was at home in it, with its sights, its displays of life and growth and death, its colours, scents and sounds. I was at ease with it. Now I am on a creative path to re-explore it.”
He taught art in Rhodesia and Nigeria between 1967 and 1979, then became a sculptor – “almost by chance”, he says – when he returned to his home county.
His African years increased the intensity of his palette and saw him take on motifs and emblematic ideas, but his career of self-discovery remains rooted in his first love.
“It took a long time before I found a more natural path for my painting,” he says.
“My exhibition in Chiltern Street will show something of my quest for a deeper understanding of my world of landscape and my journey as a sculptor.”
- Open 11am-6pm Tuesday-Friday (4pm Saturday). Admission free.