David Mankin is a contemporary abstract artist living and working near Penzance in the far west of Cornwall. His work is bold, instinctive and gestural, as if he is living in the landscape itself. Texture, colours, shapes, sounds, movements and spaces all collide onto the canvas. The energy and dynamism in his work are sweeping and feel instinctive. Canvases bear visible traces of previous marks and earlier forms, suggesting diverse layers and alternate journeys and stories hidden beneath the surface.
Each painting is a remembered moment, a glimpse of a feeling evoked by being in the landscape. David isn’t illustrating the landscape in a representational way: there is no attempt to recreate a specific view, instead he explores beyond its obvious beauty and manages to express the emotion of how it feels to stand in a Cornish field in the summer sun, or on a beach after a storm has passed. Whilst making us understand how it feels to be there, he captures more than a momentary glimpse into a vista, or of everyday life in Cornwall – he allows us to tie our own thoughts and memories of the landscape into each piece. A velvety depth of green can take us to a verdant, overgrown field in spring. A flash of orange in an abstract swathe of blue reminds us of buoys being thrown around at high tide. We are allowed to absorb ourselves into his world and have the space to create our own emotional responses and narratives to each piece.
In addition to the tangible elements that inspire him as an artist, sea, weather, sound and the pulse of the landscape, David’s urge to create also comes from a deep-rooted desire to shape something from nothing. Painting for the artist is alchemical: a constant search for the transformative qualities of thinking, experiencing, and remembering in paint.
David became a full time artist in 2014 having followed a previous career in graphic design and publishing. Since then he has built a strong and growing reputation with collectors throughout the UK and exhibits regularly in solo and group shows in Cornwall and London A book about David's work published in August 2021 called David Mankin - Remembering in Paint, by Kate Reeve-Edwards and published by Sansom and Company is on it's second print run.
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