Gavin Donaldson’s work explores identity, through the mediums of painting and drawing; mark-making with the intention of moving away from the hectic pace in which images are exposed to the public. Interest in the figure blooms out of his exploration of relationships between himself and others, and observing the psychodynamics of a person within their environment/amongst peers.

Influenced by the impact and use of images in media and how the false permanence that is attained in photography has skewed perception – resulting in people sacrificing their own morale’s or beliefs in order to maintain an outward appearance of coherence. Many would follow as opposed to create, wear a mask rather than reveal and celebrate uniqueness and differences.

Concepts are treated as concrete – something that can be possessed and held as though they are accolades. Delving into our own memory the images are much more fluid, enigmatic. There are now no memories without photographic aids, yet the photo tends to replace the memory and rather than regale the viewer with tales or emotions from the event. The automatic response to past experience is to show Gavin’s practice is a personal exorcism of these ideas, a form of personal meditation with the intention to loosen the gripping necessity to control. The work manifests as incomplete or in a state of flux, constantly dissolving and evolving – to remain fluid and to be not as the viewer would expect.

“I am interested in the process of an artist working, and want to create art objects – reducing the paintings and drawings to their material value. Reducing art to its truth, constantly reinforcing destruction as an equal value as creation. Eliminating the borders of expectation and residing in the grey area between seeing things as black or white”.

Donaldson graduated from DJCAD with a BA(Hons) Fine Art in 2016. We were delighted to feature his work in our highlight ‘Best of Scottish Art Schools Grad Show 2016’.