Degree Show, David Heskin
Image courtesy of David Heskin

News 3 August 2020

Degree Show 2020: Meet this year's graduates - David Heskin

Introduce yourself and your work. What ideas and themes are important to you?

I am a lifelong, primarily self-taught artist, who later began studying traditional painting methods and techniques in a number of distinct lineages.

What materials do you use? Why are they important to your practice?

In painting, I prefer to utilize pigments that have alchemical significance, along with those materials that have formed over vast periods of geological activity. Both of these elements attune me with far wider spheres of influence, from the deep history of the planet earth, as well as further out into the celestial bodies. By connecting to deeper processes and forces, the artistic process is replete with the experience of reverent action, working closely with the materials in the creation of an object of beauty.

Describe your studio to us – what would we find?

Currently my studio is anywhere I am, and my materials are anything that can be wielded creatively.

How has the lockdown influenced your work? What new things have emerged in your work because of the restrictions?

The current societal crisis forced me to abandon the trajectory and momentum I had been developing in the first year and a half of the program. I had to completely recalibrate my plan, my mediums and strategy for survival, as I was forced to leave the UK on only a few days notice. A significant portion of my work in progress had to be abandoned or discarded. New works were pursued in alternative mediums which could be executed outdoors, as I no longer had a studio. This led to a deeper examination of letter carving in stone.

What drew you to the School, and what do you want to remember about these last two years?

I had never imagined that an accredited school would offer such an array of traditional skills. I am ever grateful for the fantastic teachers that I had the opportunity to work with over the past two years, and I can see that their influence will resonate with me for many years to come.

When we’re all able to be out in the world again, what are your hopes?

I hope that artists will become more relevant as the world increasingly needs to celebrate beauty and creativity as guiding human values.