One of the things I miss most about London (apart from the shopping) is the people. It’s such a melting pot of vibrant, talented, creative and unique individuals like artist David Somerville.
David with his artwork at his studio in Shoreditch, London
David is a renowned painter, sculptor, filmmaker, composer and photographer. All that and a fabulous dresser too! I am also honoured to call him a very good friend and the godfather to my daughter.
David Somerville’s artwork has been displayed in prestigious galleries around the world including LA, New York and London. He produces abstract paintings, oil paintings and landscape paintings to name a few.
David has also made films that have been shown at various achingly hip venues in England including Soho House and the Ivy in London and Babington House in Somerset.
I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at the Bistroteque and I was so blown away by his immense talent that it reduced me to tears. I have also watched him at work and it is truly breathtaking to see an artist paint.
I am so excited that he has agreed to an interview for Mama Stylista. David shares about his passion for art, his go-to fashion labels and his other love…London.
New works in Somerset Studio
Interview with London Based Artist David Somerville
When did you know you were destined to be an artist?
I started to draw and paint at a very early age – around 5 years old. I was making drawings and paintings of figures and of the countryside around my home in Wiltshire where I was born and grew up.
When I was 7 years old my foster mother gave me a box of oil paints for Christmas and this was the time when I really discovered how much I enjoyed making pictures.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration?
The main source of inspiration for my work comes from city life and also the peace and tranquility of the rural environment in Somerset where I have my other studio.
I work every day and I am inspired by my daily encounters of street life when I’m in the city and the rural landscape when I’m in the countryside.
Fragmented City No. 4
3. What do you love about being an artist?
I gain a great satisfaction from the creative process and being able to work in the studio every day – this is a great joy to me.
Also making music, films, photographs and sculpture as well as drawing and painting gives me a wonderful fulfilled and peaceful life.
4. What are your favourite pieces of art that you’ve created?
I love all the work I create but the paintings that spring to mind are Fragmented City no 4 (2005-2015) and Fragmented City no 5 (at the Chateau Marmont) (2005-2015).
These paintings were created over a period of ten years and are part of a larger series of works that I started thirty years ago.
They also relate to a series of short films I have made of the same title – Fragmented City.
Fragmented City No. 5 (at the Chateau Marmont)
5. Who is your style icon?
6. Who are your favourite fashion designers?
Yohji Yamamoto, Commes de Garcon and Vivienne Westwood.
7. Why do you love living and working as an artist in London?
Because it is one of the most exciting and diverse cities in the world.
Music Man 2
8. What would be your ideal way to spend a day in London?
I love to start the day with a coffee at the Shoreditch Grind near my home or the Delaunay Counter in the West End; do a few hours work in my studio in Shoreditch; then maybe walk around central London – perhaps go to Tate Modern, the National Gallery or the Courtauld Institute and spend time there looking at art; then maybe finish the day hanging out at Shoreditch House or having some great food at St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields.
9. Name your top 3 places to eat in London?
The Delaunay, St John in Clerkenwell and Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green.
Edge of the City
10. Where else would you live in the world and why?
New York as I have a great love for the city. I have loved it from the first time I visited back in 1984 and I have had showings of my paintings there.
I love its energy and the buildings.
11. Any plans to come to Australia?
I would love to visit if my work was to take me there. The light would be a great inspiration to my paintings and I’m sure Sydney would be a great visual experience – not least the people.
12. What does the future hold for artist David Somerville?
I am currently working on a series of paintings as well as music and short films which I would like to show in many different cities around the world including Sydney – if you would have me!
Abstract No. 1
About artist David Somerville
David Somerville is a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, composer and photographer living and working in London and Somerset. He was born in 1962 in Wiltshire and studied at Salisbury School of Art, Bath Academy of Art and Chelsea School of Art in London.
David has exhibited in galleries and museums in the UK, USA and Europe including in group shows in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle; Blains, Robert Sandelson and Jill George Galleries in London; and Galerie Enrico Navarra Paris.
One man shows include a show with the British Council in Barcelona; Broadbent Gallery, London; Wooster Projects, New York; and George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles.
A short film biography of David and his work was shown at the Tate Gallery.
David’s paintings are for sale via his online art gallery – for more information visit the website here.