The Block

Inspiration — 5 months ago

Rave Culture Meets Stonemasonry with Artist Daniel David

DANIEL-DAVID-MASONRY-EVERPRESS

Can you tell our community a little about yourself to get started?

I am 44 years old, I live in Norwich, I am passionate about travelling, street art and graffiti. I consider myself an Old skool raver and am a loyal Norwich City fan! I trained in traditional architectural stonemasonry, stone carving and letter cutting at Bath – and qualified in 1995. I work from a converted pig shed workshop in the heart of the Norfolk countryside.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your artwork?

The aesthetic is deep routed in my traditional training. The decision making around what sort of stone to use for which piece, what techniques I use for a particular stone etc etc are all informed by tradition, and keeping that alive.

Mitsubishi sculpture, by Daniel David. Source: Daniel David Studio.

How did you develop your style?

All my work is heavily influenced by my memories that hark back to the prime of my life. Being out on my BMX, my first pair of Adidas, the poll tax riots, raving… Those moments when something amazing was always happening. Setting these memories in stone are a way of making the impermanent, permanent. I guess I am creating a sort of memorial to the fun that I had.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is spent in the workshop. I commute from the fine city of Norwich to the pig shed everyday. Work is pretty varied, from letter carving to three dimensional sculptures, large and small. I use many different types of stone, marble and slate. The majority of my sculptures and letter carving pieces I carve by hand using traditional stone carving tools, a dummy (brass mallet) and chisels. A large proportion of my work is letter carving in stone, this is always designed on the computer then drawn by hand onto the stone, and then carved using dummy and chisels. For large three dimensional sculptures I use pneumatic chisels, spinners and angle grinders to remove large pieces of stone.

Dove sculpture, by Daniel David. Source: Daniel David Studio.

When you’re in need of a hit of inspiration, where do you turn?

Travel is my number one way of getting inspired. Last year I travelled around India with my son and stepson. We went to Kerala to the Kochi Biennale, the largest contemporary art exhibition in south Asia, seriously inspiring!

Setting these memories in stone are a way of making the impermanent, permanent. I guess I am creating a sort of memorial to the fun that I had.

What would be your dream project?

I am currently living the dream, the project’s my upcoming exhibition.

Palace Skateboards NYC store. Source: Palace.

What’s been your favourite piece of work to date?

I was commissioned by Palace Skateboards to carve some stone sculptures for their New York store that was a good one.

What can we expect to see from you for the rest of the year?

I’m working towards my first solo exhibition in the autumn, it’s going to be in London, without giving to much away, Cararra marble and Portland limestone and the 1990s will feature a lot, also two of the UK’s most prominent graffiti artists will feature too! Shhh!

Get on with it… don’t spend too much time talking about it. Be persistent.

What has been the hardest part of your journey? How did you overcome it?

Getting my work noticed was a struggle, but thanks to social media that changed. I have found it such a positive tool. For me it has been a way for celebrities and notable people to see my work. I am so overwhelmed at the positive response to my work. It showed me that a certain amount of belief and bloody mindedness is important to do what you need to do.

Stone broke sculpture, by Daniel David. Source: Daniel David Studio.

3 tips for anyone looking to start their own creative journey?

Get on with it… don’t spend too much time talking about it. Be persistent. Get your stuff in galleries and spend money and time on creating a good website.

Large scale vs small scale – which one and why?

I don’ t have a preference. I carve a variety of sizes, from palm sized ‘pill’ sculptures to large 8ft high carved lettering pieces. Obviously stone is seriously heavy, so this creates complications with larger sculptures. I have to use a gantry and hoist to move large pieces. Also, I sell a lot of my work overseas so the larger sculptures can make shipping costly.

Biggest challenge facing the creative community in 2018 and beyond?

I guess it would be funding, to support creative practice…. Mind you the YBA’s just used to take over an abandoned shop and look where it got them $$$.

Mix Tape sculptures, by Daniel David. Source: Daniel David Studio.

Make sure to follow Daniel on instagram to keep up with his latest work.