What do you do?
I paint and screen print mainly; and I do t-shirts as well. ‘Fools and Trolls’ is the name of the (T-shirt) brand, and I’ll be, yeah, hopefully devoting more time to that next year, but working on both still.
What inspires you?
I think, on that sort of thing, I like the Chuck Close quote you know the “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” I think inspiration is rare and not very sustainable
Do you have a favourite piece?
Uuh, I don’t know; they’re like children, they’re all special in their own way; but not a single favourite.
When do you find yourself being most creative?
I try to work even if I don’t feel creative. But I guess I have different phases of working. Like I’ll do a lot of screen printing work, which is you know very precise and clean, and very time consuming, and tidy. And then I’ll be sick of that and want to do some messy painting and make a mess; and then I’ll be painting for months and months and then be sick of that and do like a pencil drawing. Yeah, I just go through cycles I guess.
What are you working on right now?
The screen printing a lot and I’ve just finished all of the honours stuff which is pretty exhausting. So just screen printing at the moment, mainly. And I’m hoping to start painting regularly next year again, even though I don’t have anything in particular that I’m working towards, like I don’t have a show coming up or anything, but I’ll keep working on stuff.
What kinds of comments do you get from audiences and family and friends?
It’s all really different. I talked about this in my exegesis as well, I had a thing, it was for SALA. I got given this shipping container at Mosley Square to have an exhibition in. And the comments from that were interesting… A lot of people have always said about my work “ooh my kids would love that” because I guess I have that kind of look, even though I’m not trying to produce ‘kids arts’, I guess that’s what people see it as [laughs]. Well, parents say that. But then there are people like me, who aren’t parents, and are like “I love that” and it’s good. But yeah, the most interesting comment is, yeah “my kids will love that”.
What do you think appeals to people about your work?
I try not to focus on what other people like about it because then I’ll get stuck making for other people, which is a bad place to be. So I try making things that I like and I want to see. So, I guess I draw it from all kinds of different places and things that I find interesting. And a balance of different things, like a balance of the detail and the messiness, and flatness, and texture, and all that.
How long will you sit with a piece until it’s finished?
Depends, really. The two pieces that were in the (SASA gallery graduate) exhibition, I worked on bits and pieces all year; but some others I would do in like an afternoon or a week or something, it really varies a lot. That’s the tricky thing, deciding when to stop, and I think that affects my work more because of the way that I work. There’s a lot of layering. I guess I would just keep going, and that’s what decides the stop, the fact that it’s due. I just keep going as far as I can, keep trying to make it better and better.
Do you think that’s going to inhibit you when you stop studying?
I hope not. I would do it in different ways, I’ll have some that are like long term pieces; then others that I’ll do until I like the look of them, and then not look at them again.
Describe your creative process.
I guess it’s the same process for all of the pieces. I’ll read stuff and look at stuff and absorb everything that I think is interesting or that I like the look of or that grabs me, and I’ll kind of vomit it back onto the canvas and then play with it and pull it around, mess with it until it looks good.
Do the images that you combine together relate to each other in some sense or is it more the aesthetic collation that appeals to you?
A bit of both. They’ll generally be from something that I’m interested in in that moment, or if I’m researching in a particular area. Like, these ones here were influenced by propaganda posters and books that was a phase I went through. Sometimes they’re related, sometimes they’re contrasting.
Do you have a piece/type of piece that seems to get more attention than others?
I guess the ones that are colourful and have pretty girl faces [laughs]. That old chestnut.
Do you think that that aesthetic appeal, “colour, and pretty girl faces” delivers the same appeal over all the various media you use?
Yeah, I guess that was kind of my idea with the skateboards. Will it get the same reaction? That was a thing as well because a lot of people would come to the exhibition I had on and would be like “yeah skateboards!” and that’s what drew the person in, so I guess it’s like a different entry point to looking at art.
What tools do you use?
Everything. All sorts: paintbrushes; scrapers; knives; I’ll set fire to stuff.
Where can we find your stuff?
You can contact Dave Court via:
Dave Court has also been selected to showcase his work at the Helpmann graduate exhibition, so be sure to check out his work there; and the work of many other talented South Australian artists. February 14 to March 9 2014.
Dave Court is also hosting a ‘Design and Print Your Own T-Shirt’ workshop Saturday afternoons during Fringe. Make sure you mosey on down and get creative.
Support your Adelaide artists!