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A Beautiful Day | We sit down with Dave White
Editorial / Artists

A Beautiful Day | We sit down with Dave White

25 Jul 2023 | 5 min read

We sit down with British artist Dave White and get an insight into his latest collection: A Beautiful Day.

From his influences to spirit animals and challenges to ultimate goals, we've got all bases covered. Come and join us to discover what makes him tick...

Dave White with the collection at his studio

Dave White with the collection at his studio

Courtesy the artist

"When you have a moment of contact and intimacy with any animal or bird it is a timeless, priceless moment no matter what is going on in the world or your life."

Dave White

Hang-Up: Could you tell us a bit more about the coloured background across this series? What was your thought process behind them?

Dave White: Coloured backgrounds are something that featured in my work 20 years ago. However, the use of colour in this series is all based on the incredible light that envelops and surrounds us at different times of the day. Light is incredibly evocative and can instantaneously change our moods and overwhelm us with joy. A beautiful sunrise or the warmth of the sun as the day ends and everything in between is the intent.

Close-up shots of the collection
Close-up shots of the collection

Close-up shots of the collection

Courtesy the artist

HU: Do you draw from a real-life model, image reference, or just imagination?

DW: As much as I can I go and make many visits to my subjects, it starts with watching, then sketching then I surround myself with imagery as the research develops. Once the works start they have their own organic life as they come to existence.

HU: This series is full of sentiment and feeling - Can you take us through the journey?

DW: The world is in a turbulent time at the moment. The war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis and people’s worries and concerns can be felt globally. I wanted to produce a series of works that countered this malcontent and pain. When you have a moment of contact and intimacy with any animal or bird it is a timeless, priceless moment no matter what is going on in the world or your life. It is forgotten and the present beauty and love can be felt as a bond stronger than worry or suffering. A reminder of how beautiful life is.

A Beautiful Day on display at Hang-Up Gallery, London.
A Beautiful Day on display at Hang-Up Gallery, London.

A Beautiful Day on display at Hang-Up Gallery, London.

Simon Kallas

HU: You are known for your dominant, large-scale depictions of wildlife - Has anything been revealed to you when working on a much more delicate size?

DW: Many subjects I have depicted have been larger than life. However, the works started off large and didn’t feel right. Their fragility and beauty came with their tiny size. So the paintings got smaller and smaller. With this decrease, I have had to rewrite everything. From the size of brushes to the consistency of paint, some things have left and new things have arrived in order to realise them. Upon close inspection, they have the same dynamism and expression just on a miniature scale. That’s been the learning curve and one I have relished pushing.

Dave White in his studio

Dave White in his studio

David Chan

HU: You have had an illustrious career so far and the future is where we direct ourselves, however, looking back through the years, do you have significant points in time where you still draw inspiration from?

DW: I don’t think I draw from significant points in time, but I can see there are specific subjects I return to. As mentioned it can be something I witness that just has to be depicted, a look in an eye, an embrace or the sheer power and force of something that overwhelms. Or just an absolute love of the creatures I am exploring, the crux is I have to be utterly moved by what I have witnessed.

HU: Collaboration often sparks creativity and produces incredible results. If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any artist, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

DW: A lot of the artists I admire are the polar opposite of how I work and my practice, Rubens and Rembrandt are two of my all-time favourite painters. However, I would be much more interested in Collaborating with a musical Artist to produce something unique, alive and exciting. I have a massive love of Max Richter and could totally envisage something special occurring between his music and my visuals. That would be a dream project for me.

A Beautiful Day in the studio

A Beautiful Day in the studio

David Chan

HU: Do you have a spirit animal?

DW: I do, it’s a Stag.

HU: What question have you never been asked in an interview but wish you had?

DW: What is your ultimate goal for your work?

HU: Can you answer your answer above?

DW: To produce a monumental show of life-size paintings of the magnificent subjects I explore.

HU: And finally, what do you want people to take away from this show?

DW: I just want people to smile and enjoy and have a moment with them.

Thank you for speaking with us, Dave, it's always a pleasure.

If you would like any further information about any of the works in A Beautiful Day or would like to see them in person, get in touch.

And if you enjoyed the read, we think you'll love the video our quick fire round.

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