Based in: Ireland
Derick Smith began exploring sculpture and painting in NCAD (2011). Solo shows followed in Dublin (2015 and 2017) and one in Munich (2017) and inclusion in many group exhibitions worldwide (2015- present) His work was acquired by the O.P.W (2018) and now forms part of the Irish state art collection and is held in private collections in France, Germany, Japan, U.S.A , U.A.E and the U.K. He has been the grateful recipient of both grant awards and artist residencies
You find yourself in a city unknown. All of the street signs, shopfronts and billboards display a language which you do not speak, nor recognise, and yet your attention is still called to attend, to participate, to engage. These signs and symbols are delivered through ever more sophisticated means as no part of the visual field, the watched screens, is off limits. Seemingly in a passive manner, over time, you learn this language through constant unavoidable exposure and soon you forget those other meanings or indeed the time when you were encouraged to find your own.
Within my practice I am interested in non traditional mark making techniques while still seeking to honour the human gesture. There is much experimentation and tool making along the path to creating a series of finished works. The play of light and shadow are important aspects but actual shadows rather than depicted shadows and for this reason there are often deep edges or raised ridges within a piece. Each material has a life of its own, a will almost, and it is this energy, this ‘being’ that I like to work with and bring forth. Taking something as elemental as paint - it starts out in the world as something organic, a plant or mineral, which is collected or harvested to form pigment. This pigment is suspended or bound in a wet medium, then it is mixed and applied to finally set and become dry again. So much has already happened before you make the first mark on a canvas. To my mind there is a kind of magic to be found in the most immediate or obvious things if you are willing to look with a receptive eye.
"To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so, where you do not know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody or what they owe you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. (Joseph Campbell)"
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