As part of our regular ‘Artist Interiors’ series, Hannah Whitlock visited the home of Roger Davison. Roger is a Cornwall-based artist whose work will be featured in our upcoming exhibition Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West.
Outside In have been working with Somerset Film to produce a film to accompany the exhibition Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West. The film features each of the exhibiting artists speaking about their artistic practice.
We visited Roger Davison in the quaint Cornish village Mousehole. We were given directions to the house, as it was situated above the road. The view is spectacular, wide sea views, it felt so peaceful there.
I was told the house was next door to the Wild Bird Hospital. Roger tells me about the two sisters who devoted their lives to caring for wild birds and he shows me a book about their work with the birds. Birds would be washed up on the shore, sometimes covered in oil, and the sisters would clean them up. The hospital is still open now and Roger’s wife works there.
The house is beautiful. Roger shows me his studio in the back garden, among the flowers and bees. His studio is full character. This is where Roger creates his work.
“I go into the studio in the morning and go with it, I scribble on some canvas or paper and get into the idea, I normally work for 3-4 hours”
He has an easel where he is able to paint. Often, as many artist’s encounter, he experiences a creative block with the painting. Roger tells me he has the space where he can sit down at his work and strum his guitar to get the creativeness flowing. He will do this until the work is finished.
We spent time looking through Roger’s body of work, over 25 years of creativity. A lot of his work is figurative, with African influences and a lot abstract. It was fascinating to look at all the different narratives in his work, the primitive drawings and explosions of colour. I found it so interesting that Roger stores some of his work under the house safely. He works in a spontaneous way, he finds the act of painting intoxicating, it gives him a sense of euphoria. It’s a way of expressing the unconscious mind.
“I can often suffer from a deep depression and I have to drag myself into the studio and draw it away. It normally works”
Roger also carves works out of serpentine stone which is found around Cornwall, by the bus station! He learnt the technique by doing a course run by a very skilled teacher.
Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art in the South West will be touring the South West of England from 3 June 2017 until 20 May 2018. Visit our website for more information about this exhibition.