Lancashire based artist Daniel Davidson is currently exhibiting his first solo show at Prism Contemporary Art Gallery in Blackburn 

"I know how important my creativity is to my wellbeing. It is the ability to breathe deep, clean air. I love breathing clean air."

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Lancashire based artist Daniel Davidson is currently exhibiting his first solo show at Prism Contemporary Art Gallery in Blackburn

Daniel Davidson has been creating art in various forms for 25 years. After leaving school and studying Graphic Arts, Daniel moved into sign design/manufacturing learning the essentials of placement and spacing of image and text. After several years in this field, 

Daniel embarked on a career in music working with EMI/Virgin Records, which enabled him to get involved in the creative process of writing music whilst creating an accompanying visual, in the form of illustration and moving image. As Daniel’s obsession with visual creativity increased, more of his focus and energy has been channelled into responding to eclectic references and moving towards a unique and recognisable style.

Colour of Music is Daniel's latest creative venture. He is currently exhibiting his first solo show at Prism Contemporary Art Gallery in Blackburn and has work on display at Artistry House in Preston, as part of the Atlantic Contemporary Art Collection - check for times.

To mark the occaision we recently interviewed Daniel for the latest in our series of Conversations in Creativity where he reveals more about his unique process and inspirations for his work.

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What was your first memory of creativity?
I can remember drawing on the pavement outside of my house with other kids on the row. We used small stones, and if you mastered 3D lettering your work was respected, it wouldn’t get rubbed off until the rain came.

What was your creative journey to get to where you are?
I left school and attended art-college for a year studying graphic design, then left, and I have never really returned to formal education. I found the experience extremely stifling and claustrophobic. I have always had a passion for music, and briefly studied music production in Manchester, but soon dropped out (again) and formed a band with some friends. We got ‘lucky’ and landed a record deal with Virgin/EMI records. The process of writing music turned me on to the idea of visually representing the music I was creating. When the weight of working with a major label was shaken off, I had a fantastic experience with an Independent label, and this was a real turning point for my work.

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What impact if any have big name clients had on your career?
Brought in money, usually had to compromise my work.

How do you establish your own style over a period of time and still stay relevant?
I’m not sure that I am in any way relevant. For me, the moment I ask myself this question, I am restricting any truth in my work. 

Does your work/process develop thematically, or is it more distinctive and random?
There are elements to my working process that are thematic. For instance, with Colour of Music, I work to a restricted palette and a set of consistent laws. However, the process developed due to a constant desire to develop ideas and absorb my surroundings. I am learning to pay more attention to instinct and intuition. A very powerful energy that is easily ignored.

What/Who has been the biggest influence on your work (and why)?
My Dad was an engineer all of his working life, and also a gifted portrait painter. My Mum had various jobs in between bringing us up, but she also had a very sharp sense of style, and still does. They spent their youth discovering new music and dancing in Northern Soul clubs throughout Lancashire. This melting pot of expression, hard-work, art, music and fashion took priority over things like education or religion in our house. For these reasons, my parents have been the biggest influence on my work, and it’s only recently that I have accepted and understood this. They both now live on the Greek Island of Lesvos. Distance has allowed clarity.

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What inspires you or provokes the motivation towards creativity within?
As far as I can remember, the motivation to create has been around me. I have more productive and less productive periods. Using substances slows down my ability to actually create. I would tend to talk more than do. I have had a clear head for many years now, and tend to create more and talk less, (with the exception of this interview).

Which artists/designers do you admire or inspires you the most and why?
That’s a bit like asking what is your favourite song. It varies by the hour. There is a beautiful order to the work of Josef Muller Brockmann, which appeals to me. I also admire the work of Peter Saville, who seems to have a natural connection between sonic art and visual art. The artwork of my children constantly reminds me to return to instinct and is an endless source of inspiration.

What is it you love most about what you do?
I know how important my creativity is to my wellbeing. It is the ability to breathe deep, clean air. I love breathing clean air.

Daniel Davidson
December 2018


Colour of Music continues at Prism Contemporary Art Gallery, Lord Street, Blackburn until the New Year and selected works by Daniel Davidson can also be viewed at The Artistry House, Winckley Square, Preston, as part of the Atlantic Contemporary Art Collection. Check for times

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Image: Daniel Davidson exhibition launch at Prism (November 2018)

Interview with Creative Lancashire, December 2018.