David Downes Exhibition

Living Magazines David Downes The Gathering Storm

Brilliant landscape painter David Downes exhibits ‘Under the Sun: A selection of London and coastal landscapes’, with associated events at Open Door Berkhamsted this October and November.

David Downes is a brilliant landscape painter who amplifies the sense of place and time through the lens of autism.

David’s upcoming exhibition at Open Door, entitled ‘Under the Sun: A selection of London and coastal landscapes’ will showcase works of our nearby capital city such as ‘View of the City overlooking Parliament Hill’, ‘Back Lane Hampstead’, contrasting with coastal pieces such as ‘Cliff Walk at Portgain’, in medium such as acrylics, pen and ink.

After graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in Communication Design in 1996, David was commissioned by the BBC to record the Corporation’s most important architecture at the turn of the century. In 2012, David was commissioned by the Savoy to paint the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Roof of the Savoy. In 2019, David was commissioned by ITV to create a giant mural for the launch of a new period drama depicting the fictional coastal town of Sanditon based on Jane Austen’s last and unfinished novel.

David is an active supporter of the National Autistic Society and was made a Vice President of the Society in 2012. David regularly speaks on behalf of the charity and paints live at fundraising events. David recently returned from California where he was working for three years under a US artist’s visa and he now lives and works not too far away from Berkhamsted in Manningtree Essex with his partner Rachel, daughter Talia and their dog Winston.

Joan Fisher, Manager at Open Door Berkhamsted says: ‘Open Door is a creative and community hub in our town, known for its excellent exhibitions of varied arts and crafts work. We are delighted to welcome David’s talent, and for the people of Berkhamsted to experience his stunning artwork, as well as hear what inspires him.’

Downes comments: ‘My work focuses on the juxtaposition of history and modernity; graveyards lie next to modern offices; ageing churches stand in built up areas and in remote country-sides. I often paint my scenes from an aerial position, imagining the way the landscape would look when viewed from that angle. In this way my work is a meeting of realism and imagination. I am focused and can capture architecture and landscapes in vivid detail.’

The late Justin Philips, Head of Heritage for the BBC said: ‘I gave David the near impossible task to record for posterity a sense of the scale and majesty of some of the BBC’s finest buildings. David is adding a new dimension to the BBC’s heritage and building up our collection for the future.’

Under the Sun: A selection of London and coastal landscapes will be on display at Open Door from Monday 24 October – Saturday 12 November, with the exhibition and café open Monday-Friday 10.30am-3.30pm and Saturday 10.30am-1pm. For more information visit  www.opendoorberkhamsted.co.uk/exhibitions.

In addition, to complement the exhibition, art historian and critic Estelle Lovatt FRSA will give a special talk on Tuesday 25 October, 7-8.30pm where she will share her vast knowledge of the artist who inspires Downes the most. More information and tickets at  tockify.com/opendoorberkhamsted/detail/82/1666720800000.