Adversity breeds creativity
David Wilson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1959.
'Growing up in the east end, amongst the redevelopments of the 70s is so far removed from where and how I live my life now'.
Educated at the Universities of Manchester and Durham, David taught for a year in 1983 then began his career in the visual arts working on a community arts project in East Durham.
'The first real understanding of painting came whilst I was copying old masters for a living. Painting to order, looking at how different styles came about and how paint worked was tremendously valuable to me'
In 1986 David finished his mountaineering qualifications and started taking part in mountaineering expeditions that took him to remote mountainous parts of the world.
'It was because of these expeditions that my love of the mountain environment developed. I discovered that in the mountains, light and form can stimulate the most magical feelings in us all. I found I had to seek out a way to represent these feelings visually'.
In 1995 David moved his Studio to the 'Outdoor Capital of the UK' in Fort William, Building his own gallery/studio The Lime Tree An Ealdhain Gallery. As well as showing his own work the Gallery hosts shows from National touring collections and other visual artists
'Every life has a moment, a trauma that breaks you into brand-new pieces'
David's moment arrived in 2019 when his spine suddenly snapped. A diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma - a rare, incurable blood cancer meant things had to change. To get to remission a year of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant and surgery was the first challenge.
' When this kicked off I thought that was it. I wasn't sure I'd be alive in a year let alone be able to do anything, let alone paint.
Unable to work like before, new solutions had to be found. New technique's and tools embraced so that David had a way to continue to produce artwork.
'Honestly, I'd go mad if I couldn't create stuff. I knew I'd have to work differently as I could not bend my back anymore. I now have to stand up to paint. This meant I couldn't use so much water in my work. So I embraced Oil, Enamel and Acrylic paints on canvas and really got into using the iPad to produce digital images'
David's new work is clearly a new style, a forced departure. What it shows is that adversity breeds creativity - and of course David's indomitable spirit.