a colour space for sevenoaks
new paintings and other works
15 March – 8 April 2023
Donald Smith is an artist based in Horton Kirby, Kent. He has exhibited nationally and internation- ally for over thirty years and has collaborated on many creative projects with the fashion, music, and hospitality sectors. Donald taught Fine Art and Curatorial Studies at Chelsea College of Art from 1991-2021 and was elected Chairman of the renowned Chelsea Arts Club (2005-2008). As the founding Director of Chelsea Space, he is widely respected internationally for his curatorial work and collaborations with major cultural figures across art, design and popular culture.
This is Donald Smith’s first solo show in Kent, his intention for this installation is to present a wel- coming meeting place where visitors can experience an enjoyable encounter with colour and ma- terial. Donald does not make a distinction between art and everyday life, even the stools placed across the gallery floor have cushion pads painted in the artist’s signature coloured stripes. Visi- tors are encouraged to move this functional artwork around, sit down, talk, read (out loud if you want!), think, have a meeting, look at the artworks in the room, play an instrument, write, sing, eat, drink, or simply do nothing but rest. This colourful environment hopefully creates an informal and lively backdrop for a wide variety of activities.
All of the artworks here centre around themes of colour, material, light, the spatial and the social; human behaviour and our interaction with each other and the stuff of the world. One way that visi- tors might experience colour and space is by standing or sitting in front of individual paintings and staring into their multi-colour compositions; the artist also invites the visitor to look at the room as a whole: a series of colourful objects thoughtfully placed in the architectural environment of a public gallery next to a museum above a library: 3 interlocking free spaces and public amenities where people are invited to gather freely, to think and learn independently or share knowledge and experience with others.
The oil paintings are made by a traditional method of stretching linen over a wooden frame, seal- ing the surface with a natural glue and applying paint. Other works incorporate found objects put into a new context by the artist. Geometry is often used, however, these artworks are the fallible, handmade work of a human; mistakes occur, Chance, such as the rolling of dice, is occasionally used so that decisions are taken away from the artist, and sometimes the artist deliberately sabo- tages the restrictions of the geometric grid. Logic often breaks down and the work collapses into a different, seemingly more chaotic field of energy.
Much of the work is defined by striping: a stripe of colour followed by a stripe of the material sur- face on which the colour is applied, one after the other: colour / space / colour / space. Hierar- chies are resisted, there is an implied ‘democratic’ model here: no one thing is more important than any other and the integrity of the whole is the focus
Private View Wednesday 15 March 6 – 8