Dave King Profile


Two works have been selected for the Royal West of England Academy’s 2020 Annual Open Exhibition opening on Saturday November 21 in Clifton, Bristol.

Sculptor’s Drawing 2020

Sculptor’s Drawing began life as a preliminary drawing for the sculpture Think Fast, Act Slow commissioned for the exhibition A Good Age at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey in 2019 – and then took on a life of its own. Sculpture is normally thought of as static but the trolley in Sculptor’s Drawing suggests mobility – a potential for movement of something too heavy to lift.

Husk 2019

Husk was also made as preparation for Think Slow, Act Fast, to explore imagery and ideas extending recurrent themes of earlier work – ideas sometimes conceived long ago but never realised. Longhouse forms piled up dynamically suggest discarded husks or shells – the residue of former experiences or lives – surmounted by what may be thought of as the here-and-now.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 7 March 2021. Tickets can be booked in advance – see the RWA website for details.


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Installing the exhibition in January 2020


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Think Slow, Act Fast in the studio at Hook Farm before installation in A Good Age


Over many years I have developed and refined a lexicon of imagery through extensive drawing and the business of studio practice. The long-house, villas and indeed palaces are seen as dwelling places of the mind. They stand as metaphors for the artist’s self-image and over time have acquired dramatic attachments around, above and beneath. These include axes, needle and thread, letters or boulders and, almost always, a sailboat, steamer or ladder crossing the wave/roof of the long building with smoke, steam or flame emerging from within. Earth Red House 2018 (below) is the latest of these works.

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My main interests concern identity allied to the demands and potential of sculpture and materials. The latter includes the use of strong colour with wood, bronze casts and, for greater plasticity and touch, fired stoneware clay.

The sculpture and drawings I make in the studio are primarily for gallery or museum exhibition. However, I have also had opportunities to build very large works for sites as diverse as Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, a traffic island in St Louis, Missouri, a remote field in South West Ireland and Victoria Park in Bath. In London Docklands I built a sculpture using sizeable off-cuts from Canary Wharf and have a permanent sculpture Shadowplay 1992 (below), at East India Docks, which memorialises the past working life of the site.


In East Devon, I work principally on sculptures of a more personal nature – essentially creative/poetic metaphors. My latest project is a commission for the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Libraries Unlimited for their exhibition A Good Age: Change in my Time to be held at Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey from September 21 to November 3.

For more images of sculpture see http://www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk/artists/david-king



ART EDUCATION: 1965-68 Leeds College of Art,    1968-70 Slade School of Fine Art, UCL


2020       DAVE KING: THEN & NOW, Shippon Gallery, Devon

2006       CURIOUS OTHERS, ShillamSmith3, London W1

1994       FLOATING WORLDS, South Hill Park, Bracknell

1993       Angela Flowers (Ireland) Inc., Rosscarbery, Co. Cork

1991       Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson College, New Jersey

1984       Solo exhibition in the studio of Joel Fisher, Brooklyn, New York

1982     City Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent

1978 &1980     Angela Flowers Gallery, London


2019 A GOOD AGE, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey

2019 GENERATIVE DRAWING – PARALLEL PATHS with Joel Fisher, Shippon Gallery

2019 ABSTRACT REFLECTION with Patrick Jones, Shippon Gallery

2018 APPETO: PUBLIC ART & PRIVATE WORLDS with George Sherlock, Shippon Gallery

2018 Academician Candidates exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

2017 INAUGURAL EXHIBITION with Diana Kerswell, Shippon Gallery

2016 & 2017 RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition, Bankside Gallery

2014 LOST, Salisbury Arts Centre,   DELAMORE ARTS, Ivybridge, Devon,

RWS Contemporary Watercolour , Bankside Gallery

2012  EQUALITY & ENDEAVOUR, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton

2000 – 2012 SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL, Flowers East Gallery, London

1999/2001   SCULPTURE AT GOODWOOD Sculpture Park, W. Sussex

1998  XXth CENTURY SCULPTURE, Millfield Schl. Somerset,(Jun-Sept)


1997  LEWES SCULPTURE TRAIL, Lewes, Sussex ( Aug – Oct )

1996  COVENTRY/PORTO ART EXCHANGE, Universidade do Porto

BRITISH ABSTRACT ART – part 3, Works on paper, Flowers East

1995  SCULPTURE GARDEN, Henley Festival for music and the arts


1990  HAND,BODY,HOUSE, Ben Shahn Gall., William Paterson College, New Jersey,



2018      A GOOD AGE – Commission for Devon Guild of Craftsmen/Libraries Unlimited

1993/2003  CIRCLE OF UNDERSTANDING, Angela Flowers (Ireland) Inc.

1992       SHADOWPLAY – Steel and bronze sculpture commission, East India Dock, London E14

1991       ART OUTSIDE – Millwall Inner Dock , London

1988       SCULPTORS WORKING – Socrates Sculpture Park, New York

1986       ARTSITE – Sculpture in the City, work on-site for Victoria Park, Bath

1985       VIVACE – outdoor sculpture project, St Louis, Missouri, USA



2013  Member of Fabric Advisory Committee, Exeter Cathedral

2002-2006  External assessor, BA Hons. Sculpture, Norwich School of Art

2001-2003  External assessor for sculpture, Royal College of Art, London

1999-2003  External assessor,   Birmingham Institute of Art & Design

1987  Elected chair of sculpture selection panel – The British School at Rome

1986  Fine Art Board of the Council for National Academic Awards

1985-1988  External Assessor, BA(Hons) Sculpture, Chelsea School of Art



1991-2002  0.5 Senior Lecturer in Sculpture, Coventry University

1998-2003 Sculpture tutor, Working Men’s College, London NW1

1995- Visiting lecturer, Royal Academy Schools &   Wimbledon School of Art

1990-1994  Visiting lecturer at Winchester & Norwich Schools of Art, WSCAD/Farnham & Kingston University

1988-1991  Principal Lecturer/Head of Sculpture, Middlesex Polytechnic

1981-1988  Principal Lecturer/Head of Sculpture, WSCAD, Farnham

1973-1981  Visiting lecturer, including Bath Academy, Norwich, Central and Canterbury Schools of Art,

1970-1972  Sculpture Dept, School of Fine Art, Liverpool Polytechnic 0.6SL


British Council,  Arts Council of Great Britain, Leicestershire Education Authority, Wakefield Museums Service, Contemporary Arts Society, Victoria and Albert Museum. Also works in public and private collections in England, France, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, USA, Canada and Lithuania.