David Gardner

Drawing Year 2019 
BA Womenswear Fashion Design, Central Saint Martins (UAL) 

I moved to London in 2007 to study Womenswear Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. This course was very much directed through set themed projects, fast paced deadlines and stern critiques. I never really felt I could fully realize an idea. There was 8 years between graduating from my BA and starting at the Royal Drawing School, in which time I was working on my art independently in my own studio. However, this independence was not suddenly taken away from me when enrolling onto The Drawing Year. The School offers a lot more freedom, time to really experiment and dig deep into the self-directed questions within your own practice. With so many classes to choose from, it felt very much like you could personally tailor the course to suit what interested you and what best sat along side your practice. It was also an opportunity to step out of comfort zones and try something new. The supply of the studios is also a vital space to be alone in order to work and reflect on your practice, whilst also being a space for discussion and the sharing of ideas with fellow students and artists. Regular visits and one-to-one tutorials with the tutors (who are professional practicing artists) was such a valuable anchor point on the year. 

Mam, This is All For You.

Dilip Sur’s life drawing class on a Monday was something of a revelation. In fact, he reminded us that we are actually ‘drawing life’ as opposed to ‘life drawing’. Dilip’s constant advice to “Let go and let flow!” still chimes in my mind when I get stuck in the studio. This class unleashed so much in my work and I began to develop ideas that could sustain a whole lifetime of studio practice. The British Museum course with Marcus Cornish also proved to be so valuable in giving a wider context to my own practice. His insightful and passionate knowledge of the rhythms, lines and forms in the ancient artifacts was an eye opener. I am now only just beginning to scratch the surface on processing and borrowing from this rich language in ancient art history. 

David Gardner Student Story

The Drawing Year introduces you to this wider community of artists. You never really leave, and you almost become part of a wider family. I am now teaching on the School’s Young Associates programme for 14-18 year old’s and I looking forward to applying to the residency opportunities that are offered to alumni. 

I have also just moved into a new space at the Bridget Riley studios in Hackney Wick, sharing with a good friend that I met on The Drawing Year. I am continuing my practice and will do so till my death-bed! I am excited to see where the work will take me and to see how it will develop over the years. I think that the most valuable things that I learned over the course of the year were: artists set their own pace; you don’t need to explain your work to anyone and, Action - Just keep at it. You’re in this for the long haul!

David Gardner open studios