David Abse was born in December 1958. David studied art and design at the University of Wolverhampton in the early 1980s, and has subsequently exhibited his work throughout the UK (including the Francis Kyle Gallery in London, and the Bradford Biennale) and elsewhere in the world, including France, Japan and Poland. In 2009 David’s work was featured on TV’s ‘The One Show’.
For 30 years David worked in the UK's charity sector. His achievements in that sector include 7 years as Chief Executive of Islington Voluntary Action Council, setting up and founding PEACe, London Voluntary Service Council’s HR project. Whilst working at LVSC David gained an MA in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. David wrote several chapters of the well-known publication “Voluntary But Not Amateur”.
Four years ago David moved to France, and subsequently returned to full time painting, drawing and printmaking.
David lives now with his family (plus a dog and 2) in a small house in the beautiful medieval village of Les Matelles in the Hérault, 10 miles north of Montpellier. David has his own atelier and is delivering services for artists - studio space, gallery space, giclée printing - as well as doing his own work, and selling work at galleries and markets.
David’s enterprise is called ‘Matelles-Art’ and is based in the beautiful medieval of Les Matelles, in the Hérault in the south of France.
1983: Tarmac Prize – Wolverhampton UK
1984: Ferens Art Gallery – Open - Hull UK
1984: Bradford Print Biennale - UK
1985: Kanagawa Print – Japan
1985: Leigh Gallery, Kings Cross, London (solo show)
1986: Open Print Exhibition, Krakow, Poland
2010: New Paintings: Matelles-Art Gallery, France
2011: March: Liquid Oxygen – Group Show, Icosahedron Gallery, New York, USA
2011: April: Le Printemps en Folie Le Soleil Bleu Galerie, Lodève, France
2011: May: Animals Art Nomade, Gignac, France
2011: May 21: Pic Saint Loup “Festa Trail”, St Mathieu, France
2011: June: Boom The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK
2011: June/July: Animaux, Matelles-Art Gallery, France
Francis Kyle Gallery, London (1984-1990)
My work – illustrations, designs – have been published in the numerous publications
June/July 2011 edition of L’Artiste. (See www.lheraultart.com
I have been drawing as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a shop steward for years in the Pilkingtons' glassworks in St Helens, but after he retired he went to art school every day for 30 years. He died over 20 years ago, aged 99, still a communist, determined not to get a telegram from the queen. He was and is my inspiration.
My painting is inspired by my environment, and by my political activism, There are images I want to make, textures I want to paint. Sometimes I start a painting with a complete composition in mind that I sketch out on canvas. Sometimes I start with a blank canvas and just some ideas.
A painting can take hours or weeks. I never know when I start when I am going to finish. I love the urgency and speed and the bright plastic-ness of acrylic, and I also love spray paint – the way it covers space so quickly and so flatly. You make your own luck in painting: if you are too careful you will have no fortunate accidents. And unfortunate ones can always be painted over. If it’s gone it’s gone – no regrets.