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Photo of artist David Dixon

David Dixon

"Becoming part of the Sync South East project at this stage in my career is one of those rare moments when you actually get the timing right! As my work context gradually spreads wider, it repeatedly comes up against problematic barriers of all sorts. Working with Sync over a significant two year period will, I’m sure, contribute enormously to my ability to lead, inspire and succeed."

I am an installation artist interested in the nature of perception and the uncertainty of binary divisions. My work refers to the research of modern physics, and philosophical dialogues of impermanence, drawing on concepts that harness uncertainty. Over the last few years, my work has been evolving into a more process oriented exploration, which places an ever increasing emphasis on the network: whether cognitive, biological or social.

detail of handprints in sand - work by David Dixon

David Dixon's journey

“What you risk reveals what you value...” wrote Jeanette Winterson.

These words have never left me. They have been a provocative whisper in my ear, constantly questioning and challenging.

As a result, when drawing up a plan of action, I re-assessed my own set of values from the ground up. I cut out all peripheral distractions and began to focus on what really mattered to me.

Now, five years since the MA, I have my own creative arts agency, and share my time between studio-practice and education. I have exhibited nationally, won awards, been cheered when I walk into a classroom, and now work in a beautiful, converted chapel.

Art is being good to me, but only because of the risks that I have taken.

David Dixon talking to a child at a school

I try to imbue all aspects of my work with an element of risk. Risk carries uncertainty, and as such acts as a breeding ground for change. It allows me to challenge preconceived ideas; to take an idea and pull it apart, looking for the kernel of emergence. Through embracing uncertainty, I have learned to bend rather than break.

David Dixon's installation at a gallery

Originally training as a painter, I began to work as an installation artist because it involved the world around me in a more immediate way. I still engage with an exhibition space as though it is a painting, but the playing field has been derestricted. Working methods are often systemic, and derived from scientific principles, but are allowed to expand and grow organically. I use fragile and sometimes unpredictable materials such as dust to give voice to these ideas, and look for connections and patterns at all levels. Now, I also work with people: networks of people are just as workable as any other object network. As the distinction between artwork and workshop collapses into an investigation of relationship and pattern, I have found that my work has become simplified. Now, the two halves constantly inform one another, each feeding into a mutual direction.

detail from installation - words on a page - by David Dixon

The fragility of life, as revealed in the cemetery surrounding my chapel studio, resonates with a working practice determined by an investigation into uncertainty and impermanence. Nothing lasts. All things change. How can this be anything but a liberating and empowering observation?

Understanding this is what gives value to the things that I risk.

Chapel Arts studio blog
3feet website
3feet.org.uk project blog
Dada Exchange