As a child Christmas always began with a colouring book and a tin of pencil crayons, or paint tubes. To my 6 year old self, it was like unwrapping a magical kingdom or the colourful world of Disney films.
To this day that excitement of seeing such an array of colours all together has never wavered.
To feel textured paint on a canvas is so tactile and thrilling.
This was the beginning of a leap into Tintoretto, Titian, Monet, Modigliani and so many more modern day artists.
Donna's diverse artwork incorporates different textures and mediums including broken laminate glass, lead, ceramic clay, metal, brick fragments, broken pottery, coins, rope, wood, and handmade paper as well as paint and profound use of colour.
The ISLE OF WIGHT is full of strong images of the Solent, the undulating Downs, and classical buildings such as Quarr Abbey, Carisbrook Castle, and Osborne House.
With each section I paint them differently.
The sea is painted smoothly with a range of blues, jades and greens; the sky often changing from mid afternoon to evening in rich ochres, oranges, vermillion and crimson as the sun sinks over the Southampton horizon.
The Downs and countryside paintings are crusted in layers of thick textured acrylic to resemble rocky outcrops & meandering stone walls. On some I add small pieces of broken stone, brick or rusted metal to enhance the 3D effect.
Classical buildings are painted with 4-6 layers of paint which are then scraped to allow the lower layers to come through emphasizing the process of ageing and antiquity particularly in relation to weathered stone and plaster.
Added to these will be broken glass used in bus shelters and schools- which break into small 'pomegranate' pieces to add depth and texture.
The island is a treasure spot for weathered wood, smooth pebbles and coloured glass and small pieces of metal washed ashore from tankers. With these I am able to build the frame of a boat. I do not add cloth for the sails, but broken lexicon glass which often breaks into the shape of a triangle. All the glass I use is bonded and reinforced for strength and to enable touch.
A new art teacher inspired us at 15 to look at things differently, and introduced us to GEORGIA O'KEEFFE whose paintings of flowers were so vibrant and sensual. She painted 200 of them , especially the JIMSON WEED-WHITE FLOWER Number 1.
I love to paint singular flowers or a section of the flower and to take up the whole space on the canvas. I use copper, bronze and silver paint to highlight the folds and creases in the petals.
The excitement of the found ancient scroll, papyrus, sculpture, pot, & coin etc must be incredible as well as adding to our knowledge of ancient history.
This series of work replicates that through 'writing' my own original poems into island clay, ceramics, and hand-made paper. Some have been stamped into sheets of lead, rolled and placed into jars, pots and handmade containers.
How many times throughout history has ETHNIC & CULTURAL CLEANSING taken place under the guise of morality, religion & race?
we have witnessed the destruction of ancient artefacts being bulldozed & destroyed in the cities of Mosul, Hatra & Nimrud. Mosul is over 3,000 and Hatra 2,000 years old.
i am enthralled by the DEAD SEA SCROLLS, their physicality and their survival.
Both as a POET & ARTIST the use of WORDS 'as communication is essential to who I am.'
Shot, Cracked & Tight
Experimenting with different materials, in this case, laminate glass allows me to explore the themes of WOMEN & VIOLENCE, & DESTRUCTION.
The points where the glass has been hit with the hammer is placed directly over the eye of the woman, or on key parts of her body.
Painted vases give the impression of being cracked/broken intentionally or through time.
Placing materials together-glass, paper, paint and women's tights creates a sculptural effect.
The Human Form
Picasso, Modigliani, Jenny Saville and Henry Moore are a few of the artists that have inspired me to paint the human form; the curves, muscles and tendons. Most of them are either finger painted or with a palette knife. The nudes, whether male or female are sensual and erotic.
Conflict of the Human Situation
This series of painting explores the themes of;
Ageing and the pursuit of Youthfulness.
Beauty and Disease.
Sexuality and Stereotypes.
Parent and Child Identity
Transgender and Gender Identity
We live in a society of heightened awareness of what it means to be young, the pursuit of youthfulness, and the rejection of being old, disabled and diseased.
Where do we see images of the traditional stereotype of western beauty and disease together? We don't, and yet for many of us we will naturally become old, diseased and disabled.