Working predominantly in drawing and collage, David Woodward's practice reinterprets everyday experiences with the hope of better understanding deep-rooted human patterns. Works explore the discourse between seemingly fundamental and learned human limitations, addressing topics of gender, sexuality, progress, and self-identification. Woodward is interested in using a visual language to unravel the accumulated, psychological restraints with which we tie ourselves. Discouraged by the limitations of verbal language in terms of cultural, class, and gender division, he is motivated to create visual work that speaks from and to, a more innate place of feeling. Visually, he aims to mirror the dichotomy of acceptance and judgement – authenticity and performance, through imagery which falls somewhere between the beautiful and the disquieting.
Hurray! The Mercury Retrograde is Over is from a series of collages made using cutouts from field guide books in combination with anatomy selected from adult magazines. These compositions are visually constructed to propose new combinations of categorization, relationship, and unity. Through the distortion of proportion and its inherent sense of hierarchy, the arrangements are often impossible yet cautionary, addressing power relationships between humans and the animal and plant kingdoms. The utopian cutouts, appropriated from their empirical and voyeuristic classifications, re-consider the limitations of human-made systems of division.
David Woodward is a multi-disciplinary artist, currently working in Toronto, Ontario. Since graduating with a BFA from Queen's University in 2013, he has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Toronto, Montréal, and Kingston. In 2014, he was invited to be part of the Gladstone’s annual Hard Twist exhibition and was also selected as one of 20 emerging artists to exhibit at the Artist Project 2014 (Toronto). Most recently, Woodward received the Emerging Artist Residency Award from Spark Box Studio.