Selected works by David Thorpe

David Thorpe
Kings of The Night

1998

Paper Collage

149 x 168cm

David Thorpe’s work is concerned with the relationship between objects and their makers, with a particular interest in the role of craft and labour in handmade design and art. “I’m playing with certain associations,” he has said, “slightly New Age, slightly Space Age, slightly threatening…I’m absolutely in love with people who build up their own systems of belief.” This idea is reflected in works that variously reference modernist principles of object-making, utopian social architecture, Japanese woodblock prints, and Victorian paper-cutting.

David Thorpe
Endeavours

2010

Wood, ceramic tiles, steel

309.2 x 262.3 x 120 cm

In the past Thorpe has made elaborate collaged paintings, but his more recent work explores the actualisation of pattern through unusual three-dimensional renderings that highlight the tension between exquisite decorativeness and the aura of DIY home-craft manuals.

David Thorpe
Private Lives

2010

Plaster, leather, light system, wood stand

107.3 x 106 x 106 cm, Wood stand: 70.5 x 93.3 x 93.3 cm

The works shown here all make reference to an interconnectedness between ideology and lifestyle. I Am Golden (2003) is a miniature temple-like structure that also doubles as a plant stand. Endeavours and Private Lives (both 2010) allude to the aesthetics and theories of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century and the democratising art ideals of William Morris and John Ruskin. Thorpe’s large pattern-covered objects have been executed with the collaborative assistance of skilled artisans trained in recreating labour-intensive medieval recipes for making paint and ceramic moulds.

David Thorpe
We Never Sleep

1998

Paper Collage

90 x 176cm

The mesmerising repeated motifs of Endeavours are inspired by William Morris’s elaborate title page for John Ruskin’s famous essay ‘Nature of Gothic’, which defines the artist as ‘a Naturalist’ who seeks true beauty by illustrating nature and the human being ‘in its wholeness’.

David Thorpe
Covenant of the Elect

2002

Mixed Media Collag

63 x 111 cm

Labour in and of itself stands as the central, distilled idea behind Thorpe’s object, whose functionality is deliberately unclear. Private Lives, a plaster form resting on wooden legs, is similarly adorned with stylised leaves and vines made of carefully cut leather. Emanating from it is a light that imbues the sculpture with an almost devotional symbolic charge of self-sufficiency.

David Thorpe
Do What You Have To Do

1998

Paper Cut-Out

142 x 170cm
David Thorpe
Forever

1998

Paper Collage

36 x 145cm
David Thorpe
The Quiet Voice

2004

Mixed Media Collage

42 x 52cm
David Thorpe
Fragile Resistance

2004

Plaster and Leather

59 x 15cm
David Thorpe
I Am Golden

2002

Mixed Media Installation

Dimensions Variable

Other Resources

artfacts.net
The work and images of David Thorpe on artfacts.net

the-artists.org
Modern and contemporary artists and art - David Thorpe

meyer-riegger.de
David Thorpe 'The Colonists' from the Meyer Riegger Galerie

taronasugallery.com
Images including 'Embassy of the coming Good' from the Taro Nasu Gallery

meyer-riegger.de
Many alternative images from the Meyer Riegger Galerie

kultureflash.net
David Thorpe at Iterim Art. Mark Sladen talks to artist David Thorpe about his recent work Good People.