Bill Davies Signs & Art Making in Malak produces one off pieces of artwork. Speak to Bill today about a stand out piece of art.
"Creation starts with the mark, then the building of the relationship between the figure and the ground. This is the creation of space, colour and surface: not in order to replicate the visual world but to express graphic and sculptural possibilities." Bill Davies, Darwin 2014.
Bill Davies was born in 1954 in Yorketown, South Australia. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (2001) and an Associate Diploma of Fine Arts (1995) from Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory.
Since completing his studies Davies has blended the concerns and methods of expressionist drawing practices and abstract painting with craft-like approaches, such as making his own inks, to create a range of 2D and 3D works.
His work explores the natural environment and landscape of Darwin and also its development: from the natural to the domestic. A self-proclaimed mark maker, Davies is an artist who works with material and gesture. He says, "Art that I respond to is a communication of emotion and honesty. I aim for that in my own work."
Davies makes work that responds to the natural environment of the top end of Australia and also its development. His drawings pour from the wall the way the wet season humidity moistens everything: engorging materials and pouring from surfaces.
Davies' paintings, on the other hand, work on the square grid of the built environment and are contained works made using the technological tools of Davies' sign-writing practice to plan the work and make the masks. He uses paints of varying gloss and sheen to create planes across the picture frame in the tradition of the original Hard-edge painters - Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Ad Reinhardt and Kenneth Nolan - and also Australia's own Col Jordon.
Director of the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art Maurice O'Riordan says, "Bill has been a longstanding and active member of the Darwin arts community, well regarded for his experimental practice in painting, drawing and installation, which seeks to both mask and unmask the processes and philosophy of expressionistic mark-making along with broader environmental issues. In this light, his work bears some traces of his work as a signwriter; the desire to communicate remains but on a more subconscious and in some ways politicised level."
The paintings in Davies' latest series, Urban Oasis, have a relationship back to the earliest days of Darwin and the grid created by the surveyors of the town. Today, in Darwin, multi-level apartment buildings lure people into the CBD.
Darwin-based artist Franck Gohier says of Davies' practice, "I have always respected artists that imbue their visual arts practice with a tradition of the artisan and tradesperson. Their work reflects a strong respect for materials, process and heritage, which they bring to their contemporary practice. Bill Davies is no exception."
Since his first solo showOrigami, at 24HR Art in 2002, Davies has exhibited steadily in solo and group exhibitions, and has been a finalist in many art awards, including the Wyndham Estate Art Award, the Outback Art Prize and the 2012 international 'Cricket Art Prize' that toured across several Australian states.
Davies' work is held in the Charles Darwin University art collection and numerous private collections around Australia.