FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER: David and the Festival Artists

Chichester artist David Souter will ring the changes as he exhibits every Sunday throughout the Festival of Chichester as one of the new gathering of Festival Artists.

On Sunday, June 14 from 11am-6pm, David opens his doors at 116 St Pancras, Chichester, to offer his paintings of Chichester. On Sunday, June 21 from 11am-6pm, he turns his attention to marine paintings.

David's work

David's work

Sunday, June 28, 11am- 6pm sees David put the focus on London and New York before he concludes on Sunday, July 5, 11am-6pm, again in St Pancras, by showing his snow paintings.

As David, who studied painting and printmaking at Medway College of Art and the Royal College of Art, says, his work is about where he lives and travels (www.davidsouter.co.uk).

“The Festival Artists are a group of professional artists in and around Chichester who will be exhibiting during the festival ostensibly for people to purchase work of quality and interest.

“My own background is I went to a provincial art college in Rochester, and then I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. Peter Blake was one of my lecturers there. He is an interesting guy!

“My fellow students included Ian Dury (who went on to find musical fame with his Blockheads). We used to have a little space that was allocated for us to work in, and every morning there would be a break to have coffee and cheese rolls. I used to see these gorgeous girls going along with an extra coffee and extra cheese roll. It turned out they were taking them to Ian Dury who had polio and was confined to a wheelchair.

“It was the first time I had seen anyone working on something the size of a wall. He was incredibly talented as an artist before he got diverted into music. He was one of the nicest-looking guys I have ever seen. There was that charm for the ladies, but you could see he also had a little bit of that Jack the Lad side to him. He was just very charismatic!”

As for Peter Blake, David was still in Rochester when he first came across his work, finding himself hugely drawn to a Blake self-portrait.

“And then when I got to the Royal College of Art, we had random lecturers on top of the basic ones. One day, Peter Blake walked in, and I was totally taken aback. He was a very demure, quiet man, but he could always get his point of view across about painting being about looking.

“A strange thing happened to me in London about 12 years ago. I won a prize in the Sunday Times watercolour exhibition, and they had a big prize-giving. Peter Blake was there. I went over to introduce him to my wife, wondering if he would remember me. And he straightaway said ‘I remember you!’”

Since moving down to Chichester (partly to get away from the “frenetic nature” of London), David has focused his work on Chichester and the surrounding area: “I have got quite a following around here. I have got quite a lot of regular clients that buy paintings of Chichester and things associated with Chichester, like sailing and boating. But it not just Chichester. A lot of my work is based on London where I lived all my life. And a lot of it is based on where I have enjoyed travelling to. I am quite well known for my New York paintings and the Mediterranean. Wherever you go in Italy or Greece or Spain or France, you see wonderful colours. I am quite well exhibited.”

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