Local Carlisle mixed media artist, Daniel Ibbotson, has been invited to take part in the 59th Biennial Art exhibition; “Personal Structures” 23 April - 27 November 2022, in Venice, Italy
If you would like to play a part in helping Daniel achieve his dream, then please donate using the following link.
VIDEO: Daniel Ibbotson talks about his process, philosophy and his invitation to the ECC Personal Structures Exhibition in Venice.
About the Artist
Daniel explains “The narrative in the organic-like layers of my abstractions echo my resonance with the ambiguity of everyday life; seen, hidden and implied. All my artworks contain rhythms derived from personal experiences and pay homage to the disciplines of my past, including my vocations as a professional footballer, dance teacher, specialist decorator and also from being a father to two children. Like the materials I collect for use at some time in the future, my life experiences and emotional records may have no particular prominence or intent at the time of storage but they re-emerge when triggered by my reflective scrutiny of life in the context of the wider landscapes”.
As a contemporary artist of more than 30 years, Daniel draws on opportunities working as a specialist decorator which has afforded him innumerable opportunities to collect waste materials such as scraps of wallpaper, dried paint, coloured sawdust and used sandpaper. These components are fused to create multi-layered, highly detailed works of sculptural abstract art. Daniel’s attention to detail and the deliberate placement of minutia become more apparent with time so that the artwork resolves its initial apparent ambiguity through an ongoing narrative with the viewer. In this way, each artwork represents a period of discovery in his own life and includes his commentary on the ever changing world around us all.
Living on the Streets
Personal experience forms the basis for Daniel’s art including his early life living on the streets. On November 7th, 1987 Daniel hitched from Lancaster to London, with only 70p in his pocket. he continues, “It was a spur of the moment decision after I got laid off from a job in Morecambe. I walked to the motorway junction with a bag of clothes and that afternoon, hitched all the way to Bedford. It soon got dark and very cold. At Bedford Services, I was approached by a friendly looking old guy, and was offered a place to stop for the night, and I accepted the offer.
I didn’t realise his ulterior motives until he started asking unusual questions and the possibility of modelling for him. When we eventually arrived at his house far away in the country, I made sure he caught sight of the blade I had the insight to take with me, to warn off any unwanted attention. I had no intention of using the knife but I realised I was in a vulnerable position.
The night was difficult to get through as every inclination was to run away, but it was remote and very cold so I stuck it out by sleeping with my head against the door and my clothes on.
The following morning I got a lift back to the same motorway junction and hitched a lift all the way into central London from a group of lads in a van from Manchester.
The first night in London was spent in various doorways along Oxford Street, getting tiny bits of sleep on wet cardboard boxes. The following day I headed to Selfridges where my friend in Morecambe’s brother worked. I couldn’t find him, so I spent another sleepless night, moving around looking for places to sleep. The Haymarket Theatre was covered in scaffolding, so I hopped over the security fence and slept there for a while until the cold woke me up. I decided to keep moving and was soon greeted by a friendly looking middle aged man who asked what I was doing.
After explaining my situation, he offered me a place to stay for the night (I know what you’re thinking). I accept and quickly found out when we arrived at his flat somewhere in West London, that he wanted something I wasn’t prepared to give him (sex). I spent an uncomfortable night fending him off but managed to escape early in the morning. I headed back into central London.
I applied and got a job as a stock controller at Selfridges, but after another uncomfortable night on the street, I decided to against it, and carried on instead looking for places to stay. I had to get off the streets.
A chance encounter with someone I was begging from gave me an opportunity. He recommended I try a homeless hostel on Dean Street which provided temporary accommodation and shelter. I found the place and got food and a bed for the night in an underground dormitory. The first night in the dormitories was interesting to say the least. Two really tall and colourful German transvestites and a groin injecting drug addict stand out, but it was exciting sleeping under the pavement as we could hear all the hustle and bustle going on above in the town. This was an adventure to me and I was loving it.
After a couple of days in the Hostel it was time to move on. I was recommended a longer term homeless hostel in South Kensington. I found it and secured a month to try and find a job. The very next day I found work on a building site – they were renovating the Gloucester Hotel just outside the Gloucester Road tube station and just five minutes from the Hostel.
I made it to Christmas there, and had saved enough money to buy a ticket home to visit my family back in Morecambe. After returning to London, some of the members of the hostel decided to go for a night on the town on New Year’s Eve. In amongst the madness, I got separated and ended up wandering around Piccadilly Circus at 4am waiting for the tubes to reopen so I could get back to the hostel. That’s when I was approached by a guy (you guessed it) who was looking for a pick up. I told him I wasn’t interested but after a chat he gave my his card and I found out he ran a modelling and acting agency. He told me to contact if I was interested and we left it there. I decided to take a chance and arranged to meet the guy at his office one evening. It was a genuine offer. He told me about an opportunity coming up at Pineapple Dance Centre to be part of a large performance group, made up of many people already signed to the agency.
I had to learn a song, a section of a play to recite and any dance routine I could muster. I told the owner of the agency about my homeless situation, and he kindly found me a room in a shared house in North Acton.
I went to the audition at the Pineapple Dance Centre on a beautiful Sunday morning – did my best, and to my amazement, was selected to be part of the performance group.
Daniel stops at this point and states “The next chapter gets even madder”.
What is the European Cultural Centre Biennial Art Exhibition in Venice?
The Venice Biennial Art exhibition 2022; “Personal Structures” Exhibition will take place from 23 April to 27 November 2022 (pre-opening on 20, 21 and 22 April), and is curated by Cecilia Alemani. Cecilia says “As the first Italian woman to hold this position, I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society”. Cecilia Alemani is a curator who has organized many exhibitions of contemporary artists. She is currently Director and Chief Curator of High Line Art, the programme of public art of the urban park in New York, and is the past curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2017.
She continues: “In our 7 months long exhibition “Personal Structures”, we do not only present artists that we personally like, we also document artists with different opinions. An honest sincere dialogue, stimulated by differences, will have to lead to a well thought of heightened awareness. This awareness about our own Existence should make us care more about everything. It is only after we care that we seem to be willing to change. “Personal Structures” presents a small part of the complex development of contemporary art. This exhibition as a total can be seen as an indication towards the further global development of contemporary art. This exhibition presents a creative language mainly based upon conceptualizing human expressions in art, rather than focussing on craftsmanship. The exhibited works at our Venice Biennial Art Exhibition, present the awareness of each artist, questioning and reflecting, where do I come from, where am I, and where to go”.
For more information, visit https://ecc-italy.eu/
© Village Link Magazine 2022