Degree: BA Hons Fine Art
University: Middlesex University
Graduation Year: 1993
Since the beginning of time, anything with a heartbeat has looked up to the moon and pondered on that small spec; a luminous hole punched out of a nebulous canopy. As we evolved, we began to explore and even create, but we never shook our fascination with that pearly beacon: the moon. The magic of the moon and the sky has seized the mind of one particularly talented artist, Chelsea Davine.
‘Autumn Dusk Moon,’ is a spine-tingling impression of the glowing orange-moon commonly sighted towards the end of the autumn equinox. The dramatic orangey hues coupled with Davine’s use of an overlay of varnished gold leaf, make her piece look so igneous you half expect it to combust before your very eyes. The moon in Davine’s depiction, is the kind of moon you envisage lit the sky during some of history’s great and private moments.
Her piece, ‘Antes de Amanecer,’ almost seems like a continuation of ‘Autumn Dusk Moon.’ A reflection of an autumnal sky, Davine has considered not only the colours of the sky, but the colours of the traditional Harvest Festival. This piece gives you a slice of time, of tradition, of ancient values. For example, the vibrant orange prevalent in the piece is highly reminiscent of pumpkins and other root vegetables typically harvested at this time, and the red of the piece is incredibly similar to the strawberries that are picked from the fruit fields during this season. The darts of gold dappled over the surface of the piece reflects the colour of the traditional ‘Corn Doll,’ a descendent of the Goddess, Ceres. Davine’s work does not seek to simply capture an image, but to create an impression of a moment in to time, to bottle an essence and release it onto a canvas.
The work of Chelsea Davine is rich both in colour and content, and her work is one of those rare cases in which the longer you look, the more you find…
I work and live in a city, Barcelona, and grew up in London before I moved to Lyme Regis in Dorset as a child. Whilst I crave the serenity of being by the sea with its ebb and flow of the tide and the passage of time, I equally love the energy and architecture of the city.
As well as recording visual sculptural details such as the connection between the helix of a staircase to an ammonite on Monmouth beach I’m also fascinated by the repetition of elements and Palladian’s theory of harmony in space. Light, urban decay and renewal, nature’s constant reclaiming of abandoned spaces and I try to grasp the fleeting beauty in all of these aspects: the grey of the city and Blue Lias in Lyme through to the golden glow of a church in Barcelona. This is manifested in quickly-created sketches, studies on canvas or printed photos that I scatter on my table in the studio.
Sometimes the ideas can take years to become fully realised into a piece, distilling them down into the simplest representation. Copper, steel, canvas, paint, seawater, oil, gold, silver and copper leaf are my base materials. The canvas I use is either primed or un-primed. Steel with all its industrial and urban connotations once weathered becomes inert but equally beautiful. Copper when straight from the factory glows a deep red which I’m obsessed with recreating into sticky, sweet, highly glossed abstract paintings. Then the green/blue patina that forms over months of subtle treatment is redolent of the salty sea.
The Hunter’s Moon is still a primary source of fascination after all these years. Photography and Sculpture tie many of these elements together. The simple elegance of a B&W photograph is still the most satisfying photography of all. It is timeless and in my monochromatic paintings I try to realise the same feeling.
I've recently become fascinated by the technique of using Chiaroscuro from the Renaissance. The interplay and intensity of the use of light and dark such as in Caravaggio's work suits my way of working perfectly. I build up multiple layers of thin washes of oil paint and suspend gold, silver and copper leaf in between. Then using ageing varnishes I create darker areas that throw the lighter areas forward giving the sense of depth.
2019, Barcelona Collection, Nordic Art Agency, Malmo, Sweden
2019, CHIAROSCURO, The Russell Gallery, London
2019, Abstraction in Gold, 60 THreadneedle Street, London
2018, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis
2018, Artist Exposé, Nordic Art Agency, Malmo, Sweden
2018, Reflecting the Light, Courtyard Gallery, Dorset
2017, FLOW, The Russell Gallery, London
2016, ELEMENT, Kaoni Gallery, Barcelona
2014, Golden Light, The Russell Gallery, London
2009, Evidence of Life, Tasneem Gallery, Barcelona
2018, Commission for Main artwork of Symphony of the Seas Royal Caribean Cruise Ship