Derick Smith

Ostracon, 2020.
Clay and acrylic paint on 650gsm handmade cotton rag.
Dimensions: 56×76 cm.

Ph credit & courtesy of the artist.

This piece was created from broken clay fragments of larger sculptures. Once these lines read as clear stokes but being separated and rearranged the movement, the energy is entirely transformed. Each fragment is evocative of something larger and complete which is now no longer possible to distinguish. It could be seen as an analogy of our current state of separation, the distances between us strikingly clear yet somehow we are united by these new shared circumstances.

The title of this work is evocative of a Hellenistic tradition, where a broken vase of clay was used to write down a few words. In this case, these broken pieces are written by colours by the artist who composed this colourful jigsaw pattern that can mark a continuity between the past and contemporary history of art.
Every fragment might be seen today as an island, so many isolated people that are floating in this uncertain time, but at the same time, they are all part of the same group of a human body, or literally of the same body of works.

Derick Smith is an artist with a multi disciplinary background including shooting and exhibiting black and white photographs, designing and building furniture and working professionally in a design firm in New York. The draw of the raw materials held more sway over the digital so he came back to sculpture and painting by way of NCAD. 

His work explores the properties and behaviour of materials as an analogous simulation and investigation into contemporary life. Although paintings at heart the work is sculptural in nature and shifts boundaries between static and dynamic by exploring the edges of wet and dry materials in surprising and intriguing ways using a playful rather than austere tone.

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