Born in dusty outback Dampier in the 70s, David Spencer parlays childhood memories into raw, emotive art that everyman can enjoy. His aesthetic isn’t easily pigeonholed, culminating in an eclectic and diverse portfolio that reads as a veritable journey through shape and colour, materials and mediums.
Inspired by this own history and the colours, sounds, people places, textures and art he was exposed to on his travels, his own memories and sensations have became food for his artist’s brain. Each of Spencer’s paintings is a living journal of a life lived, laid bare on stretched canvases. As a collective, his body of work is as varied and diverse, because no two emotions are ever identical.
“Whatever mood I was in, whatever thought or memory I was trying to express, each piece is always from the heart,” Spencer says. “That’s why I find people have an instant connection when a piece speaks to them.”
At his exhibitions, art buyers are often known to beeline for a piece, briefly discussing it and then purchasing it without hesitation or debate. “They simply wanted it because they loved it and that’s what is defining about my art – it is for people who value their own particular reasons as to why they love art, rather than what’s popular.” Spencer says.
Spencer’s desire is to create an impact on the eye and trigger an emotional response through colour, movement and texture.
“I am bound to no one style and, just like the first random scratch of charcoal on a canvas, I’m never prepared and I enjoy letting instinct take over,” he says. "There's nothing I'm bound to other than experimenting, so I can keep pushing and trying new things."
An appreciation for design in all its forms means Spencer delves into varying materials and styles. Hailing from Fremantle, the humble family man is a true reflection of his craft. Dynamic, energetic and lively, he draws from the past while being in the now, overlaying an urban, industrial sensibility and an admiration for nature’s beauty.
“I paint something different every day because I don’t want to get ‘trapped’ into some recognised style or repeated image,” he says. “I need to push and dissect my art until one day I draw but one line and think it’s beautiful.”
Each of Spencer’s one-off, contemporary pieces invites opinion. “I want viewers to create their own connection and illicit their own understanding as I honestly prefer the story of others to my own,” Spencer says. “A painting with a voice that speaks to its viewer in a personal way creates a sense of ownership, and inevitably pride when they hang one of my pieces in their personal space.”
Spencer believes art is a space for exploration and risk taking. “Art is one of the few spaces left in this world that is without boundaries or boxes to concede to,” he says. “Art is about enjoyment, connection, and challenging and interpreting meaning – and most of all, art should be accessible to everyone.”