David Cox

David Cox, Art and music

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“Generally I make it because that’s the kind of art I want to see”

12" x 12" stencil print.House paint & colour pencil on corrugated card.
12″ x 12″ stencil print. House paint & colour pencil on corrugated card.

David Cox has been making his constructed and painted artworks for over thirty years, hugely influenced by the music he loves, primarily Jamaican Reggae, Ska and Dub.

David says of his early influences ‘One day during the summer holidays in 1957, I was left in the care of my great grandmother. She didn’t break her weekly routine on my account and we took the bus to the pensioners, cut price, Wednesday matinee showing, at the ‘pictures’, in the nearby town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Nothing had hitherto prepared me, or I suspect, Granny Price, for the sight and sound of Little Richard on the big screen. Soon after, with saved up money, I bought my first record, ‘Lucille’ by Little Richard and became captivated by rock ‘n’ roll. During the next few years, I grew to love blues, jazz, soul and also, the sounds of Jamaica, which I first heard coming from an open window of a nearby house where Jamaican immigrants lived.’

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In the beginning David was primarily using wood to construct with but in the early 90’s he started to give workshops in schools and had to rethink materials to make it easier to facilitate working with children. After experimenting, David found corrugated cardboard to be a perfect material to work with as it is light, it can be made very strong with reinforcement from withy and bamboo sticks, it is readily available, and free.

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David’s workshops in schools led him to working with WOMAD ( World of Music and Dance )  Festival. David has run workshops for children all over the world at various WOMAD Festivals and was invited to be ‘artist in residence’ in 2001 making artwork for posters and publicity as well as parade art, stage design and a CD cover.

“These days my main subject matter of my work is around the music and Jamaican music in particular, and there’s that ethos in Jamaican music that they got amazing audio results from being creative with what they had, a make, mend, improvise, get it done somehow attitude that I like”  “I make 3D objects but its not sculpture I don’t carve. It’s all constructed and finding out what works intrigues me, it is great fun actually making a piece, because it is like a puzzle. it gives me a real buzz to work out how to make things”

30" x 30" x 3" 3d construction.Corrugated card, house paint & colour pencil.
30″ x 30″ x 3″ 3d construction. Corrugated card, house paint & colour pencil.

 

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The artworks are made from cut up corrugated card boxes, brown paper, sticks and found materials. Ecos Organic Paints, pencils and crayons on surfaces.

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Exhibition on work by David Cox at the Southbank Club Bristol Feb. 2016

 

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Artwork by David Cox on display at the Southbank Club, Bristol Feb 2016

The animation I make reflects the way my pieces are constructed, it is not bendy like plasticine, that you can make flow.  My pieces are rhythmic I look on my animations as being like Dubs. I use stencils on cardboard, moving the pieces to produce stop frame animation loops which I then edit together.

See more animation on DAVID COX YouTube Channel.

http://modernart-dcox.com

A Brief Biography of David Cox

Having dropped out of Art college, David Cox began making furniture and toys in the early 1970’s. In 1979, Southern Arts awarded him a ‘time off’ bursary, to make a body of work, which was shown at his first solo exhibition, at The Festival Gallery, Bath, in 1980.

Since then he has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, in both group and solo exhibitions. He has been ‘artist in residence’, at The Crafts Council Gallery, with the ‘Crafts In Performance’ show, as well as other galleries, arts centres, colleges, schools and a prison.

Having worked as workshop leader with WOMAD in the UK and abroad, he was invited to be ‘artist in residence’, with the organisation, in 2001. During this time, he made work for posters, publicity, parade art, stage design and a cd cover.

He has also worked extensively within education, including a year long residency at Harwell School, in Oxfordshire. From 1996 – 2001, he was principal tutor on the ‘Idea To Image’ module, in the Illustration Department, at UWE, Bristol.

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Artwork by David Cox for Album Cover ‘Ligeey’ by Amadou Diagne

New Album Ligéey being released this week!

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The culmination of months of hard but enjoyable work has finally come together and my new album is being released this week on the 14th by Long Tale Recordings.  This is a truly exciting the time and really just the beginning, I feel like I am riding the train that is on the album cover, next stop radio interviews, then jump on that plane, get out there and tour this music everywhere around the world, grab a taxi and zoom!

Ligéey Album Cover

This song is a dance, a West African kind of Salsa popular before Mbalax became the rhythm of Senegal. It is slow, it is sexy, it is music that says don’t leave me, dance with me, don’t let me go. You can dance all evening on a hot west African night to this rhythm.

The fantastic artwork for the album was created by David Cox. My wife has known David for many years as the dad of her school friend and occasional art teacher at Looking Glass school and then as the lecturer in charge of an animation course she took. As she was struggling to come up with both time and ideas for the album artwork she called David to ask for some help, little expecting that he would be so taken with the album and the concept that he offered to create an original piece of artwork for Ligéey. The word Ligéey means Work in Wolof, this album is a result of my work as a musician, it is a piece of my work as an artist, as too is the creation for the cover made by David, the amazing creative talents of the musicians who have played on the album, Beth Porter, Phil Dawson, Mark Smulian, Gani Tamir, Myke Vince, and the skill and wealth of experience of the producer on this album Mark Smulian, and mastering skill of Sefi Carmel.

Ligéey Artwork in progress

This is the art work in progress. David created a 3D construction from cardboard boxes cereal packets and postal tape which when he is happy with the design is then painted with household emulsion.

” Letters painted red or orange to stand out from the background. Then I get to work with my paint’s and colour pencil. Buildings white, the rest a limited range of colours to maximise the 3D qualities of the piece and shadows.”

“A tribute to all the workers, those who have made our cities, towns and villages, those that feed us and provide water, those that get us to our destination, those that keep the roads open and safe, those help when we are in danger or sick, those collect the and recycle rubbish, those that make our clothes, those who teach us, those that sing and play music, on and on…”               D. Cox

this is a link to a page about David Cox on the WOMAD Website http://womad.org/artists/david-cox/

Animation by David Cox for MIX IT UP by The Kingstonians ( this is some of David’s previous animation work that can be found on you tube)

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I think the artwork really fits the album beautifully, it is music to travel to, music to dance to, and I hope it is music to move the listener both physically but also in a soulful, joyful, and thoughtful way too.

I have not been able at this point to upload some short tasters of the new album but hopefully we will sort that out soon, also watch this space for some exciting video projects for the album that are taking shape now.

If you wish to check out my new album on Amazon her is the link for Ligéey

and here is the Amazon USA Link for Ligeey

and here is the link for Long Tale Recordings http://longtalerecordings.com