C O U R T E S Y R E L E A S E
Art, Life and Death
WHO: David Powell
WHAT: Large Scale Charcoal Drawings
WHEN: March 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 • Fridays 5:00-8:00 pm, Saturdays: 1:00-5:00 pm
or by appointment (call 801-458-8959)
WHERE: University City, 2556 Washington Blvd, Ogden
Weber State University visual art and theatre design student David Powell will be the featured artist during the month of March at Universe City, 2556 Washington Boulevard in Ogden. Opening night will be held in conjunction with Downtown Ogden’s First Friday Art Stroll, Friday, March 4. Gallery hours are Fridays, 5:00-8:00 and Saturdays, 1:00-5:00 pm. or by appointment (call Benjamin Jennings at 801-458-8959).
David Powell came to recent public attention as a leather-working costumer at Weber State University. His horse masks for "Sleepy Hollow" won recognition for Outstanding Craft Project at the regional American College Theatre Festival last year. This year he is working on the upcoming "The Lion in Winter," lending his talent and skills to courtly costumes designed by Catherine Zublin. All along, though, he has produced two-dimentional work in the WSU Department of Visual Arts AND supported himself and his family while working at a credit union.
The pieces in the exhibit at Universe City this month were originally conceived after the death of Powell's father. The intense, oversized charcoal drawings explore ideas and feelings about the unknown territory of death with a sense of myth, mystery and awe. The contrast of vivid white images against the deep black of the medium helps the viewer to focus on the "story" of each piece. The large format drawings, over 3x4 feet, match the scale of the expanding universe his captures.
The work I am currently pursuing is an exploration of life and death, and more particularly of the journey that occurs after death. Various religions, cultures, poets, societies, and all peoples throughout history have put forth decrees, theories, revelations, and ideas about what happens after death. There are none who can with perfect clarity and the type of knowledge that comes through experience explain to us exactly what death is like or what follows it. We have hope and faith, and it is that hope that is driving the images I am now creating. The charcoal drawings are a symbolic representation of an un-experienced and thus an unknown narrative. This “unknown” or this uncertainty of what comes after death brings anxiety and fear. For those who have seen death occur there are no more answers than for those who have not. It is through that journey of anxiety and loss of faith that a true grasp of the meaning of hope can be found.
I chose to use charcoal because of its dreamlike ghostly effect and because it allows me to quickly express many large ideas, manifesting them on paper while their image is still fresh on my mind. Also, I like the idea that it (carbon) is an element of the earth, and a basic element shared by many things, and one of the first substances used to make art. In “Birth” that theme of the circle of nature and of the universe and recycled element is most apparent. The shape of the star cluster represents a phenomenon in the universe that scientists believe to be the birthplace of stars. We see humanity represented in the two small figures, first in their world, and the white stones lead to the launching place of souls. We are all made of the elements of the universe, and to our base elements we return, and in the cycle of it all, I have found comfort un-hoped for in the passing of one so loved.
As an artist I am interested in many mediums and expressive devices. If art is about asking questions, then I think asking those questions in different ways is important. It is my goal to learn as many skills and techniques as I am able in order to work in a way that is post-medium, and to use those capabilities as tools to communicate visually with the world.
For more information about David Powell, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Universe City, or to schedule a private appointment, contact Benjamin Jennings, 801 458 8949 or email@example.com