Derek Dickinson (b.1960) originates from south west England. In 1983 he relocated to London and worked as a designer and stylist for film, photography, television, video and performance, as an assistant director on music videos, in artist management and PR, predominantly associated with the music industry.
After returning to the South West Derek completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Plymouth University in 2010. In 2019 he began studying for an MA Contemporary Art Practice.
He has exhibited work in numerous solo and collaborative shows including the Royal Academy London, Berlin and south west England. He has works in permanent collections in the USA, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Germany.
Derek resides in a remote farm cottage on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate.
'Similarly rooted in material exploration, Derek Dickinson’s monochrome paintings draw on his experiences of drug addiction, loss and the lengths artists will go to in the pursuit of beauty.
To create his paintings, he first soaks strips of muslin in paint before throwing them onto the canvas, capturing a moment in time, a shape, a figure. From here, Dickinson works back into the muslin to bring the figure to the fore. He often creates the figures first on board which allows him to develop their interplay before transferring them to the canvas. He likens this process to a performance, using a burst of chaotic emotion as the impetus to throw the muslin, then returning to control and refine the composition.
Dickinson is fascinated with performers, such as Rudolf Nureyev and Vaslav Nijinsky, for their undying commitment to their art despite the suffering it entails. He uses the image of the performer as a symbol for his own suffering, most clearly represented in his early stark white canvases. Dickinson explains that using white allowed him to strip away anything superfluous from the composition, so that the viewer could focus solely on the emotion of the piece. This emotion is bound up in the materiality of the muslin itself. Its contortions, tensions and frayed edges reflect the strain of Dickinson’s own life, before fading out invisibly into the sumptuous monochrome of the canvas.'