Artist Bio - David Beck
Born and raised in Oxfordshire, England, I have spent most of my career as a designer of such varied subjects as pewterware, furniture, jewellery and houses. In fact, the last house I designed and built before moving to Australia eleven years ago, was sold via the popular television programme, 'Escape To The country', as one of their mystery houses, which was quite an ego boost! Now settled in the countryside of the beautiful Bega Valley in southern NSW, I have arrived at a time in my life when I can devote myself to my passion for painting.
As a child, I was fortunate to be raised amoungst, and influenced by, an international collective of artists based in Paris and the farm estate of Rycote Park in Oxfordshire, which was owned by the French artists, Cecil and Lil Michaelis. Artists attached to this pair were the American painter, George Ball, and revered English printmaker, William (Bill) Hayter, amoungst others. Our house was full of works by these people, including portraits of my parents by Cecil Michaelis who was truly an artistic polymath covering, painting, sculpture, ceramics, prints and church windows made from glass prisms. As a teenager I was often invited by him to help in his studio, mostly to help build his prismatic light sculptures. This intensively artistic coterie of people had a great effect on me and taught me that design is a combination of practicality and artist flair, something that I have carried throughout my working life. I am now enjoying the freedom to reduce praticality in favour of pursuing more purely artistic goals.
We were lucky during the recent bushfires which got to within a few kilometres of us, but thankfully the wonderful fierys put them out before they reached us. I have spent some time in the burnt-out forests of the Bega Valley that surround me and there is an awful beauty in the devastaion that has been caused. Walking amounst the tall, blackened trunks, there is an sad beauty in the absence of greenery and absolute silence that prevails from the lack of wildlife. I have embarqued on a series of paintings to try and reflect the beauty of this devastation and look to the future with the hope of better times.