‘My personal focus is on the relationship between environment/landscape and the act of painting. My practice is a deeply personal metaphor for my life knowledge. Experiences, memories and encounters all translating into paintings of the landscape.
It is this world first observed and subsequently imagined and re-imagined that is what interests me with respect to my studio practice. The world that I am immersed in as a painter of the Australian landscape is defined by not only the importance of place to my personal narrative but also the connections that exist through memory and my family to places that I have known during my lifetime.
It is also significant as an environment where I have found solitude and a sense of belonging. It is the space from which I have subsequently drawn inspiration for self-expression through mark-making/painting. It may not always be green but the landscape is mine to paint and I actively seek landscape moments to keep me from slipping under the waves.
DU, July 2017
David Usher is a Brisbane born Toowoomba based artist undertaking a Doctorate at the University of Southern Queensland - his area of research is ‘the spook’.
The spook occurs in an artwork through the culmination of a series of elements - of the application of composition, colour and light.
The artist ‘squints’ or half closes their eyes in order to gain a sense of the overall feeling of the work in front of them, to ascertain whether the composition, or ‘feel’ of the work has reached the moment when it has a kind of magic about it.
To the viewer this appears to be the spook - whereby the artwork portrays a kind of magic or speaks for itself.
There is a plethora of theoretical research David has engaged with, he has recently co-authored an essay titled ‘Notions of the Spook and the Role of the Studio: Considerations of Space and the Sensory Experiences of Producing Art’.
The thing that is special about this research is that it is a theoretical discussion of something that is felt. The instinctive landscapes are a direct translation of David’s physical experience in a landscape, his experience is captured and transferred to be read as the spook in his paintings/ceramics.
David has shown with several galleries including Doggart and ALG, and has work in collections including Queensland Art Gallery, Artbank, Brisbane City Hall Gallery and Queensland Potters Association.