Artist Studio

Inside the Studio: Dawn Beckles

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Dawn Beckles’ interpretation of the classic still life is unparalleled in her use of vibrant colour and contemporary settings depicted alongside her reoccurring subject matter, the exotic flora inspired by her native Barbados. Ahead of The Other Art Fair London this October, Dawn provides an insight into her practice, including new artworks that she will exhibit onsite…

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative practice…

I am a self taught mixed media artist based in London. I moved to the UK as a teenager and spent the majority of that time in Lancashire before moving to London in 2008 to complete a Design degree.

My creative practice currently focuses around still life and interior collages. They are my interpretation of life experiences and way of communicating things that happen to/around me.

Your work integrates multiple mediums including painting, collage and screen printing. Can you explain how you intertwine these various methods.

In my practice I’m usually working on multiple pieces at a time. I don’t plan my pieces, I’ll just start with the neon decide on room or still life and then I’ll start to sketch in elements with charcoal.

Once the base elements of the painting are visible I will start to decide on the main colours whilst continually adding different physical elements to the room or counter. Then I will go in with whichever medium I feel it needs until I feel its finished.

What inspires the vibrant colours that you use across your still life artworks?

Originally I am from Barbados and the majority of my childhood was spent there. My choice of vibrant colours for me are a reminder of that period of my life and the people that I met there. Colours for me are an extension of emotions and I want to incorporate some elements.

How do you ensure that the manmade and neutral forms in your artwork harmonise with one another?

For me there is always a moment when I know that I should stop. So as I’m working on a piece I always give my self the opportunity to step away from it by working on other pieces. I find that by doing this I can try to keep that balance.

Many of your pieces focus on furnished interior spaces. Are these rooms based on places you have visited or lived in?

Generally all of my interior spaces are imagined, however “Master of Hidden Beauty” is based on my partners childhood home. I usually visit over summer but due to Miss Rona that’s just not possible this year.

Usually my pieces begin with a basic layout. I will then add the different elements that I see in the room, paintings, furniture ornaments or lighting elements.

What do you want the audience to learn from these personal, interior spaces?

Each painting can be interpreted differently dependent on the individual. I’m simply offering an invitation to learn more about the home owner.

What have you been working on lately, and or what is your next project?

Currently I’m working on some new pieces for the upcoming exhibition “Mark of a Woman” with Amelia Maxwell Consulting at the end of September and experimenting on some pieces for The Other Art Fair at the Truman Brewery in October.

Alongside this I’m also working on a new series of still life paintings based off of my mini series and further exploring sculptural and interior elements to my work.


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