David Woodcock

Paintings and Drawings


...the cold black puddle where a child, full of sadness, squatting, loses a boat

as frail as a moth into the fragrant evening.

  Rimbaud (from The Drunken Boat, translated by Beckett)

David WOODCOCK 1952-   Artist and teacher, born in Salford, Lancashire, studied at Chelsea School of Art, 1976-80, and the Slade School of Fine Art, 1991-93. His teachers included Patrick Symons, Myles Murphy, Euan Uglow, Norman Norris, Norman Blamey and Craigie Aitchison. Woodcock taught part-time from 1980, currently at Canterbury Christ Church University. His group exhibitions include the RA Summer Exhibition 1986; An Interest in Measurement, Brunel University 1988; British Figurative Painting, Isis Gallery Southend, 1992; The Importance of Drawing, Canterbury Museum, 1999; and The Marlow Centre Canterbury 2002. His Brunel University solo show travelled to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Private collections worldwide held examples.          Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945, David Buckman .Other mixed shows include London College of Printing, 1985; Argile Gallery Notting Hill, 1989 Articus Gallery South Kensington, 1989; Centenary Celebration of Heatherleys at the Mall Gallery, 1996; Open Studios, Second Floor Studios and Arts, Woolwich 2010. Solo exhibition; The Troubadour Gallery, 2005.Current studio at Second Floor Studios and Arts (SFSA), Warspite Road, Thames Barrier, Woolwich.Woodcock's paintings and drawings are very particular. They are about surface and investigate definite ideas about what is seen and what is made. The things painted have been examined, imagined and constructed in a specific and intimate way. Plato criticises painters for diverting our attention with their painted appearances of the way things look; yet the way things look is only a weak likeness of their true nature. For truth belongs with the idea. It is fascinating to know that the origin of the Greek word idea is derived from the verb 'to see'. The visual idea and the empirical experience constantly challenge each other but they can be made to work together. David Woodcock might paint about an idea suggested by the object; their shapes and forms, colour or groupings, the space they occupy, or the way they might be used to divide the picture surface. Colour is generated by the drawing and is usually built locally from individual surfaces. Modulation of colour takes place and it is held firm by the boundaries of shapes. The objects painted have personal meanings; they may have been given to the artist by friends or might signify a particular time or event. Twenty years ago, in Valencia he made a drawing of floor tiles that demonstrates an early interest in geometric patterns and their growth systems. The optical reforming of interconnecting shapes by faces of polyhedra, their purity of form in relation to the geometry of the picture plane are a recent subject and serious fascination. Woodcock's teacher and friend, the painter Patrick Symons RA made all the arithmetical solids in these paintings except for one. David's icosidodecahedron joins Patrick's solids in the intimate and poetic picture 'Threes and Fives'.The drawings from nudes search to realise form and space on a continuous skin. Solutions may be found in the poses or the particular characteristics of the models' body. The twisting line of symmetry, through the shoulders, breasts, navel and hips, creates tension. The geometry of the space is measured by the models' presence: the foreshortening of limbs, the assertion of mass and weight, proportion and scale. In all these works, the vision is expressed by seizing correspondences and delineating planes, making both the thing and the idea tangible.  Mark Dunford, London 2004