David Roskilly is an artist, designer and photographer currently working in London. His work explores the idea of the intertextuality that exists on every surface of the modern visual environment and it’s historical and continuing communication. It raises questions as to where this dialogue originates from and to where it extends. It is also concerned with the occurrence of the abstract against this backdrop.
Greatly influenced by the landscape of his native Cornwall and the work of the middle generation St.Ives modernists, most notably Peter Lanyon and Patrick Heron, he has always held a deep fascination with the mysterious analogue patterns and signals of nature. This fascination has provided another key direction for his work and came out most strongly later with the advent of the digital domain which provided an alternative set of resolutions against which the analogue could be experienced.
Arriving in London in early 1976 in the middle of the explosion of punk, he was very influenced by the work of Jamie Reid and also the diy fanzines such as Sniffin’ Glue, which further opened up the possibilities of using collage as an effective and primary means of communication. For him the immediacy of the medium and the use of material from any source mirrored the explosion in the visual arts and fashion that was happening as a result of the punk phenomenon.
David studied Fine Art at Saint Martins School of Art from 1980, working in the Experimental Film Unit headed by Malcolm Le Grice. It was an exciting and supremely stimulating time to be working in London but digital technology was not quite available yet. It wasn’t until the early 90s that he discovered the Mac and soon after attended a short demonstration on the internet and making websites by Malcolm Garret and became absorbed in the idea of having the ability to communicate on a global level.
In 1995 he co-founded Reactor Interactive, a multidisciplinary design studio in Shoreditch and it was from then that he started taking images of texture and the proto-streetart that was starting to appear on the streets of Shoreditch and Brick Lane. He also became aware through Ray Gun and Bikini magazines of the work of the American graphic designer David Carson, who was to become another major influence with his ideas of intuitive design and the role of photography in the design process.
Another important thread began in 2003 with an in-depth study of the work of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung that was to prompt a whole new investigation into the nature of creativity and from where that creativity originates. The question of intuition continues to constitute an essential consideration in his working process.
Although aware in the nineties of the idea of intertextuality, a term introduced by Julia Kristeva, it wasn’t until 2012 when photographing the streets of Exarchia in Athens that he first became aware of it in action. He realised that if you went close enough to the detail with the correct level of magnification, then you were able to step back and see the whole continuum of meaning spread out in front of you, covering the streets in an infinitely complex mosaic or tapestry of communication that moved back into the past and forward into the future, constantly changing but always present.
David can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.