Dave West Press Release

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  • Sunday Independent - What Lies Beneath, Niall MacMonagle

    Sunday Independent - What Lies Beneath, Niall MacMonagle

  • Sunday Independent - What Lies Beneath, Niall MacMonagle

    Sunday Independent - What Lies Beneath, Niall MacMonagle

    Easter Sunday. A dancing sun. And Queen Elizabeth, to boot, is 93 today. For her birthday lunch, traditional spring lamb? A vegan option? Bacon and cabbage anyone? Dave West's Bacon and Cabbage is given a classy, stylish look in this beautifully orchestrated, textured composition: potato, sculpted bacon, diced cabbage, a bay leaf, one peppercorn on a gleaming, reflective surface.
    Born in Penclawdd in South Wales, West grew up in Swansea. "There was no art in the family bar a distant relation to 18th Century artist Benjamin West," but from his "engineer father and creative mother - sewing, knitting, cooking", West sees a link.
    "My art is an equal combination of creativity and analytical thinking."
    Now Balbriggan-based, through "extensive genealogical research", West discovered he's "a heady mix of wealthy Irish landowners of Norman stock, landless agricultural labourers and poverty-stricken emigrants from Roscommon - and no Welsh at all.
    "I just see myself as a person in the world now."
    He's completely self-taught. "I scraped through school, scraped into an art course and found it easier to pick things up myself."
    His days begin with meditation, getting the kids up and out, a short run, cycle or swim and then out to paint for the morning. He does "all the cooking in our house - my wife says it's better for both of us!" and for this work he tried regular bacon and cabbage but it just looked weird.
    "For formal purposes, I wanted strong, geometric shapes and these raw ingredients are the base elements before the alchemy of cooking happens."
    He's painted still lifes - cakes, cheese, glace cherries - but place also features. "The wild bleak tip of Kerry in dark, wild January resonates with me as does the baking sun-drenched landscapes of Catalonia." He works "from the subject exclusively, no photographs, so the cakes were done in sections, the cheese started to curl."
    But for West, "painting outdoors is the best feeling in the world". Bacon and Cabbage - painted indoors - took "the best part of a week" but he usually only spends "a maximum of an hour a day actually painting. The quality of my brushwork dips sharply after that. "I spend time digesting the arrangement, finding a relationship between light and shadows". The result: this Michelin star bacon and cabbage. Fit for a Queen.
    West's exhibition 'Diamonds and Rust' is at The Doorway Gallery, Dublin, to April 25.
    Sunday Indo Living
  • The Irish Times 13th April 2019 Aidan Dunne

    The Irish Times 13th April 2019 Aidan Dunne

    Diamonds and Rust and four more of the best exhibitions this week.

    DIAMONDS AND RUST


    Dave West, The Doorway Gallery, 24 South Frederick St, Dublin, Until April 25th thedoorwaygallery.com
    Dave West’s plein air paintings explore atmospheric locations, “. . . a long-abandoned pier on a windy grey October morning . . .”, often along the northeast coast, and his still lives feature everyday objects such as “pieces of beach glass, some of them recently smashed against the rocks after a raucous late night beach part.”