David Minton Still-Life

The Kaleidoscope Gallery will reopen on Monday May 17th 2021 at 10am

We welcome you all back to David Minton with his solo show Still-Life and the completion of his drawing residency

Featuring 18 new works of Pigment on paper mounted on aluminium.

David’s show and drawing residency was abruptly curtailed by lockdown on Thursday 5th November 2020

While very few people got to visit the show in October and early November 2020 as we went into the third lockdown and David’s residency was curtailed, it has remained in situ through the many months. The Gallery basked in colour has been enjoyed by the staff and featured in a film about SVAF and the Kaleidoscope.

Do now visit Still – Life and enjoy how colour changes attention, space and mood….

David will be drawing in the Gallery on the first day Monday 17th May 10 30 – 3pm

Then Wednesday 26th May – Friday 28th May 10 30 – 3pm

Saturday May 29th the final day from 10 30 –to the exhibition closure at 2pm

David Minton Drawing Residency and Solo Show at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery

David Minton drawing residency at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery Day 1

During lockdown he has completed his large scale drawing ‘What’s My Name’

‘Still Life’
Curiously there is some sense of connection between the work and lockdown. The show ran for a short time until lockdown and hangs still and silent until 17th May. Like the single bisecting line that occurs in some pieces, lockdown has made divisions, separations, in lives and living, a different present linking and separating past and future. Getting ‘back to normal’ is a dream of sorts, a yearning for the exceptional ten- sions of living with Covid to subside with a gush of relief and a spread- ing smile. And it is inconceivable that what becomes normal will mirror what was.

Liminal contradictions, impurities and imperfections have erupted on the local surface, metaphors for our own bodies, hard truths. Imperial history and revelations of slavery and our present racism have fractured life’s comfortable facades. ‘Me too’ ‘BLM’, the killings of those of dif- ferent colour and gender, insistently unsettle. “Are they talking about me?” Well yes. As connections are made, lines are drawn, debated, denied, refused, erased.

’What’s My Name?’ grew in the gallery out of feelings that arose as I tried to find a place for the work in the now changing world. Race, gender, family and history are in my name and all names. My father was an American whose father was racist. On my Grandmother’s side the family owned a plantation in the south and was ruined by the Civil War. ‘Ruined?’ My stuff on the walls always poses the never answered question, a peculiarity pertaining only to myself perhaps. My duality is less of nationality than identity. The lack of a sense of national belong- ing leads to uncertainty regarding personal identity. Neither one nor the other but infused by the presence and absence of both. I recall a signif- icant moment when as a small boy in awe of Cowboys and Indians, and, would you believe it, with an American Dad, I looked into a shop win- dow and my breath was taken away by the image of Roy Rogers that was the ‘me’ reflected back. Oh joy! But disillusion is never far away. The line bisecting my surfaces can be ‘seen’ as compositional, gram- matical, technical, in the making of art. But there is another process in flow. The line and all of its connotations arise from the possibilities that media offer to the life of the artist. The medium, like the person, is the sum of its possibilities and in a kind of reverse metamorphosis, my Roy Rogers has taken another form, another medium, a coloured division, felt, organic, necessary in the transformation from ‘Roy’ the name to ‘What’s My Name?’     

I have missed seeing the work.   David Minton April 2021

21st October –  Closed early due to Lockdown


This work was in the pipeline at about the same time as Covid was emerging, and the show has gradually shifted across the months of lockdown and restriction. My initial feeling was that the crisis would be over in a couple of months, a completely naive misunderstanding and underestimation of its growth and effects on life and its patterns, and also of the difficulties involved in ‘simply’ managing the situation. 

This age is one of management,  and management now is at heart an ideological thing controlled by a managerial class. Ideologies describe, define, and shape people and things.

In the back of my mind is the notion of the show as do or die. Being anxious about exactly what I am making, and concerned that it is decoration, work without mind, it is necessary  to look it in the eye, for better or worse to do it and see what results, to do what comes to me, to defy it to be trivial, superficial and to accept the truth of what it says.  Some time ago in conversation with an SVAF member I joked that all  that I really wanted to do was to make a lovely large orange surface, stand and look at it and dribble! What an awful ambition, terrible confession, in a world of theory, of concepts; there is no getting away from it, but maybe more to it? In our now fractured, postmodern-altermodern, postcolonial, time of critique, ‘alternative’ facts, what appears to hark back to 20th century modernist painting might seem an anachronism. A single line of colour echoes Barnett Newman’s ostensibly spiritual Zip paintings, the ‘Onement’ paintings, ‘Adam’. A generational thing, but here they are secular things, bodily and tactile. That too marks out an ideological position. 

And  since the author has been declared dead and revived, generations of materialists have grown up without religious belief, minimalism has proposed ‘specific objects’.  These things of mine with no spiritual intent, may be formal, sentimental memories, pastiche in the worst sense. Or conversely, perhaps they will tell me otherwise, of unintended inevitable Spirituality. Memory is necessarily both of  the time remembered and the time of remembering.  These paper, pigment, and aluminium things share family resemblances with things of the past, whilst suggesting a social mobility indicative of the evolution of manufactured things, of consumption and the ongoing uncompromising commodification of everything.

Their softnesses, confined by hard edges made from fear, a compulsion not to err, have one foot in a past when conventional moralities were harsh things, home to painful consequences in the event of their flouting, the other in a present when moralities are matters of convention. 

I come across lots of bits and pieces in the form of ideas and things, material, ground pigment, smooth paper, knives and stencils, smoothing and coaxing, touching looking fixing and deciding. In my making I have a beachcombery relationship to all this, wandering between my high and low tides picking up whatever has drifted into view and settled in the stones, things, thoughts, and ideas both resonant and opaque, part understood, in the hope that they will make sense, however small, if not now then tomorrow, a consolation and self-validation, in that what was lost in times of coercion  might remain alive, albeit in the moment , still-life.

David Minton 2020

Doors Pigment on paper mounted on aluminium 74 x 53 cm

Tear Two                                                                                        Tear Three

Both pigment on paper mounted on aluminium 74 x 53 cm


David will be in the Gallery every Wednesday 11 – 3 do drop in and chat to him about this new body of work

Pole Dance  Pigment on paper mounted on aluminium. 74 x  53 cm


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