Made Visible – David Cottingham

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“Made Visible has been an immensely exciting show to collaborate on. It has been a revelation to work with this particular focus and for that I owe a special debt of gratitude to Vanessa Clark who encouraged me at every step along this journey, towards making the transitory visible and the dancer appear timeless. I hope you enjoy the results.” – David Cottingham

D Contemporary and V C Art are very happy to present

David Cottingham

Co – Curated by Vanessa H Clark and Mara Alves

Private View – Wednesday 22nd November 6 -9pm

rsvp (strictly necessary) – Sophie O’Kane:

23rd November – 27th November

Monday – Saturday | 11am – 6pm

“Dancing is Music Made Visible” George Balanchine

 This exciting show is the culmination of a fifteen-year journey for me, studying the art of Dance and indeed a lifetime of working directly from figure. It also represents a coming together of both strands of my painting and a return to my original study of sculpture at St Martins College.

My Dance journey began with a desire to create a new method of painting the figure, combining that with my love of music. I have always been inspired by the Dancer, the single figure in motion, with their ability to seemingly escape gravity and create their own space time. Rodin, Degas, Matisse and Picasso were the artists who first lit the spark for me and I followed their path to where it has led me now.

After many years of drawing from life I began to experiment by trying to capture something of the sensation of the dancer’s own journey in space and time. In my latest work, I have done this by returning in part to oil painting, which offers new possibilities both in fluidity of brushwork and more importantly, the use of richer colors to denote space and volume. This was a breakthrough for me; to use my linear drawing style to express the movement and at the same time to use colour to overlay or obscure the ambiguous background areas.


This new series also reflects my current interest in light as landscape. By using music to create a unique atmosphere, each piece has its own light world. A painting like “Sun Dancer” combines the rich color elements from my abstract work, with the more carved sculptural quality of oil paint. I find this expresses well the monumental intensity that a dancer can bring to even a simple gesture or space.

The accompanying small series of sculptures in Clay and Metal take the Dance theme into a spatial dimension. As a student, I worked on welded metal abstracted forms and now combine this linear approach with the solidity of the body. So here the journey comes full circle in its attempts to make visible the transient energy and contained power of Dance.

Selection of works on show

The Golden Season

Adagio Sostenuto

Tango Soledad