David West: gilded carvings, woodcut prints and original drawings opens tomorrow!
All works in the show can be seen here.
David West Talk: Friday 6 September 6.30pm with genuine Japanese supper afterwards cooked by Shige Takezoe. Tickets: £8 for talk, £15 for supper, £23 for both.
David West has been carving in wood for some forty years. His work is in museums, public galleries and private collections. In 2008 he was invited to Japan by the Sasakawa Foundation of Great Britain to spend four weeks travelling and drawing. The trip included a walk along parts of the Kumano Kodo, an ancient Buddhist pathway in the Kii Penisular which links numerous temples and shrines, often located near waterfalls or some other natural feature.
The inspiration of the walk informs all the work in this show, gradually drawing in Dorset themes as subject matter. At first he did not know how to express the sense of mystery and wonder the walk had evoked in him. A commission to carve new organ pipe shades for St Michael’s Church in Lyme Regis acted as a catalyst. For the first time he experimented with gilding, under-painting and pierced carving and, using these techniques, he went on to make some large woodcarvings relating directly to the Japanese drawings which he showed in Lyme Regis in 2010.
The smaller panels in this show explore the nature of icons. Through the intensity of a simple gilded image, in miniature, he has created contemplative pieces that lift one out of the every day into a more special way of thinking. In just the same way as looking at the sea or at a waterfall does. The white gold leaf in the carvings of footpaths and waterfalls reflects every subtle change of light, creating an impression of greater mystery, solitude and depth.