Nature inspires me the most, but also ancient myths, legends folklore. I have always been interested in ghosts, ghouls and the areas of human interest that may stray into the unknown, and for me it’s about investigating these unknown or scary places that can lead my work. I’m quite a fan of old horror movies, (particularly Hammer Horror movies), and scary tales so I’m always one to get stuck into a good film or story. Perhaps it’s this kind of fascination with the unknown, something from another world, which can drive some people to experiment with Ouija boards or participate in séances, but not me. To a certain extent it is about applying a rational explanation to all areas of the world and to do that you have to delve into an area of unfamiliarity, and letting your mind mull these areas over shows a healthy level of curiosity. My work touches on many areas of the unknown and I think it has made my practise much stronger as a result, resulting in using materials and sites of display that I wouldn’t normally consider.
對於我,大自然賦予了我許多靈感,古老的神話、民間傳說亦然。我癡迷於鬼魂和食屍鬼,還有那些人類迷離的未知領域。對於我來說,正是研究這些未知事物或者說是恐怖的地帶引領來我的藝術創作。我是老式恐怖電影愛好者,尤其是漢默恐怖電影 (Hammer Films),還有那些恐怖故事,所以,我常常癡迷於一部好的電影或是一個好的故事。也許,正是這種未知事物,另一個世界的的魅力,會讓人們嘗試通靈或者降神,但我不會。在一定程度上,正是對於世界需要一個合理的解釋,驅使你進入一個陌生 領域,讓你的好奇心可以通過這些影片保持在一個健康水平。我的作品涉及這些未知領域的許多方面,而且,我覺得,作為結果,它們讓我的藝術實踐變得更強大,使我在材料運用和場地選擇上作出了我超乎尋常的抉擇。
My process usually starts with a simple idea. Some ideas and thoughts are so strong, and manifest so completely, that I pursue them quite relentlessly, they can wake me up at night until I begin to work on them. At this point I can clearly see what I want a piece to be, although certain adaptations take place, the end is always clear in my mind and I can always envisage how I want a piece to look in a space. The animal works have been prime examples of this and have had their genesis in the aforementioned folklore. For example, the piece I created called Shuck takes its name from Black Shuck, a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. I knew about the tales of Shuck as someone who originally comes from that area of the UK. It seemed the perfect title for a work that felt almost supernatural when it was completed. This was also the first piece in which I began using light entwined within my works. Light for me adds more to a surface and it is incredibly versatile. I use light as much as a focal point for my works as I do as a way of highlighting areas on a piece. The Deer busts (Wraith, Phantom, Spectre, Glory and the Hart series) are finished with an incredibly reflective gloss finish and when the light is reflected on this surface it adds to shape of the piece, areas become far more defined, and the piece is somehow animated. Although not anchored in specific legends, the Deer are creatures that exist as shadows of their former selves, as supernatural elements. Their identifying marks, their eyes, their ears and their teeth, are all missing yet with the highly reflective surfaces I give them I want them to be seen as creatures that could shift, they could move. These creatures exist to present their final breath, their last message, one that cannot be heard or read, but only seen in light as it cascades from their mouths. It is a language of the dead, an incomprehensible yet alluring twist of words that is physical not audible.
Having these forms emerge from the walls and into our space is important. I know they can seem slightly hollow to some people, almost soulless, but to me they are creatures of curiosity, they have strayed back into a realm that they are no longer part of, one last time.
我的創作過程通常始於一個簡單的想法。有些想 法和思緒如此強烈,明顯卻又完整,而我對於這 些又如此癡迷,它們甚至可以在深夜喚醒我, 直至我開始工作。在這個階段,我可以清楚地看 到我想要作品是什麼樣子的,雖然中途可能會有 所改進,但結果通常是我腦海中的清晰輪廓,我 也可以構想出這件作品在空間中的效果。我的動 物作品可以說是最佳例證,它們都有起源,如之 前所提到的民間傳說或故事。比如,我的作品“ 皮囊(Shuck)”,其名字來自於傳說中的“黑皮 囊(Black Shuck)”,一只幽靈般的、在海岸線 和東英吉利村莊流浪的黑狗。我如其他英國人一 樣知曉黑犬獸的故事的。而對於一件感覺上超自 然的作品,當完成它時,這也是一個相當完美的 名字。這也是我第一件運用了光線縈繞其中的作 品。對我而言,光為作品表面加添了更多內容, 而且它也有令人難以置信的多層次感覺。光,作 為我作品的一個聚焦點,用以強調一件作品的某 個局部。鹿的半身像──幽靈、鬼怪、恐懼和雄 鹿系列(Wraith, Phantom, Spectre, Glory and the Hart series),作品的表面有一層反光效 果極佳的光面處理,光纖維反射光在其表明, 使作品的狀態更加豐富,局部輪廓變得更加簡 明,作品也隨之俱有動感。雖然鹿這一形象並 不是掛靠在特定傳說之中,但是鹿作為一種生 物,如超自然元素,存在於其先前自我的陰影 之中。它們獨特的標誌,它們的眼,它們的耳 以及它們的牙,在我賦予它們的高反光表面上 隱藏起來,因為我想要它們被看作是可以變形 可以移動的生物。這些生物呈現了它們最後的 呼吸,它們最後的話語,聽不到亦讀不到,唯 有通過它們最終傾瀉的光而被感知。那是一種 死亡的語言,一種物理存在但又聽不到,難以 理解,卻又誘人的話語。
My materials come from a wide variety of sources, including Taxidermy and Medical/ Anatomical suppliers and in some cases creatures that have already passed on. Electro-luminescent wire is something that I began using in 2009 and have found it a perfect fit for my practice. Although this material is quite expensive it is incredibly versatile and its visual impact is second to none. This presentation of the light, and what it represents in my work, is as close as I can see it in my mind when I’m considering a piece. It is very important that when I use light in my work that it is carefully considered and not overdone. I think it is sometimes too easy to destroy a sculptural work if the light becomes more than a layer, albeit an important one. Using natural materials, teeth, skulls and antlers is something I enjoy and feel comfortable with. I do have quite an interest in the end of things and when you get to see the true structure of something, like its skeletons or its teeth, right down to the root, you get a feeling for how it began. You have to use a great deal of care and respect when handling and working with these forms. They carry meaning already and what you infuse them with should always be done with a light touch and some restraint. You can become entwined with these forms, you are part of its resurrection and its new life, it is important to get it right. Most of all these lingering components of bodies, be they man or animal are amazing. For instance the Antlers on a Deer can seem quite whimsical and it is so easy to forget that they are as much for adornment as they are for fighting, for defending ones territory. Watching Stags fight will show you how soon this beauty becomes a vicious tool of conflict.
我作品的材料來源廣泛,包括動物標本及醫療/解剖學供 應商,還有些作品運用了死亡生物。我在2009年開始運 用電致發光線,它們也十分契合我的作品實踐。雖然我用 的材料十分昂貴,但是它們的多樣性以及視覺衝擊力卻是 首屈一指的。光的表現,還有它們在我作品中的展現,在 構思一件作品時,是最貼近於我的想法的。光纖的運用對 於我的作品是來說是十分重要的,這也是經過慎重的考量 而非為了誇張效果。如果光纖僅僅是一個簡單的層面,縱 使它很重要,也太容易毀掉一件雕塑作品。運用天然的材 料,牙齒、頭骨和鹿角,我樂在其中且游刃有餘。對於事 物的終結,我情有獨鍾,這也是你可以看到一件事物的真 實構造,比如他的骨骼和牙齒,直至根基,你就可以感受 到它是如何開始的。在處理和運用這些材料時,你也需要 極大的耐心和尊重。它們已經承載了意義,需要注入的, 應該是輕柔的撫摸還有內心的克制。你可以與這些形式交 織在一起,你是它們復活和新生的一部分,做得恰到好處 就變得十分重要了。這些“屍體”揮之不去的部分,或人類 或動物,驚嘆至極。比如鹿上的鹿角看上去奇形怪狀,而 且人們很容易就會忘記它們既是用來裝飾也是用來捍衛領 地的。當觀看雄鹿爭鬥時,你就會很快地意識到這些美好 的事物是如何變成交戰工具的。
Realising some pieces can be quite time consuming, most of my works can take weeks and weeks to complete but this is because I have quite specific requirements in regards of surface finishes. I want people to feel like the surface of my works are something that they want to interact with. The smooth and reflective gloss surfaces of the animal sculptures seem to be quite alluring to many, particularly when the light I use shines across the forms. Conversely the flocked surfaces of some sculptures are very tactile; they have an almost sumptuous feel to them. This kind of surface which has been present on some of my work is perhaps the most interesting. I have used this velvet effect covering as a kind of adornment in some works. I feel it gives some pieces, some more aggressive or ‘cold’ forms, a luxurious and approachable skin. The spines of the puffer fish of Resist are turned from needles to softened prongs, whilst the blade of the machete in Together feels all but comfortable to run ones finger along. I have always been one to approach materials and forms with an open mind, I think I see a challenge in forms and objects that others see as disconcerting, such as skulls, teeth and blades.
By interpreting these somewhat disconcerting forms into works that people can approach, and in some cases desire, then I am getting closer to why I am interested in pursuing certain ideas around death and decay and the reasons why we are repulsed and attracted to them in equal, curious, measures. This, I believe will drive my practice forward and allow me greater scope to approach sculpture with the same vigour and enthusiasm I always have.
在製作作品時,有時候是相當費時的,我的大多數作 品都會用去幾個星期來完成,因為我對於作品的表面 處理有相當具體的要求。我希望人們喜歡這些作品的 表面,他們希望與之互動。光滑和反光的動物雕塑表 面對許多人來說是相當誘惑的,尤其是當我運用光纖 穿插其中。相反,那些茸茸的表面相當有觸感,那些 雕塑擁有一種幾近奢侈的感覺。我的部分作品的這種 表面處理可算最有意思的。在我的一些作品中,我用 了天鵝絨作為表面裝飾。感覺上,天鵝絨給了這些極 具攻擊性或“冰冷”的作品一種奢華和親近的皮膚。作 品“抗衡(Resist)”將針鋒相對的河豚的刺針變成了柔 軟的尖端,而另一作品“共在(Together)”中刀鋒舒適 得可以划過指尖。對於材料和形式,我一直持一種開 放的心態,我會將那些令他人不安的事物或形式,比 如頭骨、牙齒和刀鋒,視為一種挑戰。
我的作品,通過重新闡釋這些讓人不安的形式,人們 可以接近,甚至渴望擁有它們,然後我越來越能够理 解自己之所以沉迷於死亡和腐朽這些主題的原因,還 有我們為何憎惡它們卻又被其迷倒。我相信,這些將 會推動我的藝術創作並讓我進一步進行雕塑創作,當 然我一貫的活力與熱情也是讓我不斷進步的必要條件。
David A Smith (B.1983 in the UK) received the Cecil Lewis Scholarship in 2008 and completed his MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College in 2009. He was also a finalist in the Catlin Prize 2010 and noted collectors of his work include Robert Devereux, Cathy Wills, Hugo Brown and Justin Hammond. Smith has been continuously working on new pieces, commissions and projects since graduating.
大衛 · A · 史密斯(David A Smith)1983年生於 英國,2008年獲得塞西爾 · 劉易斯獎學金(Cecil Lewis Scholarship)並於2009年在切爾西美術學院 (Fine Art from Chelsea College)取得純藝術碩 士學位。他的作品進入了2010年卡特林獎(Catlin Prize 2010)的最終入圍名單。他的作品被許多知 名收藏家收藏,其中包括羅伯特 · 德弗羅(Robert Devereux)、凱蒂 · 維麗絲(Cathy Wills)、烏戈 · 布朗(Hugo Brown)以及賈斯汀 · 哈蒙德(Justin Hammond)。史密斯在畢業後一直繼續著他的藝 術創作。