David Ward

Abstract artist, long-distance cyclist, philosopher, and Marxist, David Ward would love to leave this planet with one painting in the Tate. I do believe that’s an achievable goal for this genuine artist.

David Ward ‘Strava Heat Map’ 2018 David Ward 'Border National Park' 2017 David Ward 'Dead Leaves

I first met Dave at our coffee cart on the deck of the Mitchelton Library. He would rock up on his pushy looking for a coffee to fuel his ride. His modesty and broad mindedness was obvious right from the start, and so was his enjoyment of a good yarn. My hubby befriended him immediately due to their shared love of cycling and shared political and philosophical views. It was a while before I realised what an amazing artist he was.

When we opened a café and gallery, Scott asked him if he was interested in putting his paintings in our shop for sale on consignment. Up until then I had only seen one small image on his business card, which I did love. But when he brought in a handful of canvases and we put them up in the café, I realised how talented he was.

He is a true artist, in that he lives and breathes his work. He takes his materials with him when he does his long-distance cycling. And there was one time when his car broke down on a journey, so he just pulled out his gear and started painting.

His work is colourful, intricate, and has physical depth. To me they evoke journeys, but others may see something else. David says this is the beauty of abstract art. People see what they want to see. It evokes their own subconscious, or consciousness.

David Ward ‘Untitled’David Ward

I mentioned all the choices you have to make as an artist, especially with abstract work because you’re not copying from life. Especially his work, because of it’s intricacy and detail, there’s a multitude of choices to make with each mark he makes. His reply was this: “You just have to trust your instinct, and slap it into six speed and put your goddamn foot down.” In other words trust yourself. And he can trust himself because he has 30 years experience as an artist, and he also truly believes in his ability. He doesn’t second-guess his ability and not because he is a chest-beater. Dave is in fact very modest, he is just well known to himself.

His studio is on his back deck, with a massive timber table in the centre. It was at this table that Stella and I interviewed Dave, surrounded by his work, and the singing birds; an artist’s paradise.

David Ward's work is listed on Elliott St. here. We can arrange private viewings by appointment if you are in Brisbane.

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