David Downes is a brilliant landscape painter who amplifies the sense of place and time through the lens of autism. After graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in Communication Design in 1996, David was commissioned by the BBC to record the Corporation’s most important architecture at the turn of the century. In 2012, David was commissioned by the Savoy to paint the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Roof of the Savoy. In 2019, David was commissioned by ITV to create a giant mural for the launch of a new period drama depicting the fictional coastal town of Sanditon based on Jane Austen’s last and unfinished novel.
David’s life and career are the subject of a book written by Shelia Paine entitled ‘Artists Emerging, Sustaining Expression Through Drawing, published by Ashgate Publishing Limited (28 Nov. 2000) published in 2000, which explores the mysteries of drawing fluency through the work of seven artists. David recalls how he could communicate through drawing before he could talk. From the age of 5, David could draw perspective and his drawings appeared in the book, Six Children Draw, also by Sheila Paine, published by Academic Press Inc (1 Nov. 1981).
“My work focuses on the juxtaposition of history and modernity; graveyards lie next to modern offices; ageing churches stand in built up areas and in remote country-sides. I often paint my scenes from an aerial position, imagining the way the landscape would look when viewed from that angle. In this way my work is a meeting of realism and imagination. I am focused and can capture architecture and landscapes in vivid detail.”
David is an active supporter of the National Autistic Society and was made a Vice President of the Society in 2012. David regularly speaks on behalf of the charity and paints live at fundraising events.
David recently returned from California where he was working for three years under a US artist’s visa and he now lives and works in Manningtree Essex with his partner Rachel, daughter Talia and their dog Winston.
What they say
“A visionary outsider, Downes’ no-nonsense punchy panoramas offer more than traditional picturesque scenic geography; they are Hitchcockian. His art is my safe comfortable go-to place from where to contemplate today’s world. To explore and survey the challenging impact it has on each and every one of us.” Estelle Lovatt, FRSA
“We wanted to celebrate the launch of Sanditon with a really special piece of marketing, and when we saw David’s work, we knew he would do a brilliant job of bringing the story of a nascent seaside town to life in an artwork and capturing the romance and joy of the series. We can’t wait to see what he creates over his ﬁve days of painting and to have a completely unique poster at the end of the project.” Sarah Tobias, Marketing Controller ITV 3
David Downes “I gave David the near impossible task to record for posterity a sense of the scale and majesty of some of the BBC’s finest buildings. David is adding a new dimension to the BBC’s heritage and building up our collection for the future.” The late Justin Philips, Head of Heritage for the BBC
“The Savoy has enjoyed a long history of playing host to artists and commissioning artwork and we are delighted to have continued this tradition by working with David Downes to create a wonderful record of the historic Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. This painting will hang in a prominent position in our Front Hall where it will be enjoyed by guests for many years to come.” Kiaran MacDonald, Managing Director of The Savoy
Education M.A. in Communication Design – The Royal College of Art, London P.G.D. in Narrative Sequential Illustration – Brighton University H.N.D. in Commercial Illustration – Anglia University
Commissions Hampstead Heath Extension and various collectors 2020 Sanditon, 12 m wide mural, Bournemouth, ITV 2019 Cape Town Table Mountain 2017 – Lion Head – collector The Cenotaph, Remembrance Sunday – (Go Figurative) Feb 2014 The Fourth Ashes Test at Chester-Le-Street (Go Figurative) August 2013 The Savoy Hotel – The Royal Pageant (Go Figurative) June 2012 London at Night (Go Figurative) 2011 Renaissance Hotel – Sponsored by Bic Biro Summer Ball 2011 Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens 2009-2010 Westminster Cathedral August 2006 St Brides Church April 2005 John Jones London December 2005 Merill Lynch November 2005 Goldman Sachs June 2005 BBC Derry July 2001 Land Registry, commissioned by head office, February 2001 BBC World Service, London Collage for Prague Office 2000 Hodges and Associates, Yell.com May 2000
Exhibitions: Solo Snape Maltings, Pond Gallery, July 2021 Scenes of Stour – Pop Up Show – David Downes 2019 Alan Baxter Architects– Sally Vaughan – Oct 2018 Hospital Club – Sally Vaughan – Apr 2018 L.A. Rosewood Hotel – May 2017 Forest & Ocean Gallery – Ludo Ledevitz (Laguna Beach) Dec 2016 Drawn to N16 – Pop Up Show, Michael Naik (Stokey Local) Stoke Newington – Feb 2015 The Draw of Hampstead, Hampstead, Go Figurative Gallery – June 2014 The City To N16 at The Fox Reformed, Stoke Newington Nov 2009 – Feb 2010 East to West, A Journey Along the Thames, Riverside Gallery April 2008 Diverse London Rivercourt Goldman Sachs September 2007 Hungover Shoreditch Gestalt Centre, London November 2007 Citygroup Exhibition April 2006 Merrill Lynch Exhibition November 2005 Goldman Sachs Exhibition September 2005 The Square Mile – St Brides Church April 2005 Above and Beyond – Conningsby Gallery June 2004 High on Stokey 2 – Vortex Gallery July 2003 Drawn to Highgate – The Wrestlers Pub 2003 High on Stokey 1 – Ryan’s Bar November 2002 Urbanscapes 3 – Vortex Gallery June 2002 Urbanscapes 2 – Stoke Newington Gallery February 2002 Urbanscapes 1 – Lea Valley Rowing Club November 2001 London Scenes – The Fox Reformed Wine Bar February 1999
Exhibitions: Group Affordable Art Fair – (Go Figurative) Hampstead 2011-2012-2013-2014 London Town – (Go Figurative) First Thursday October 2012 Fields Of Vision – Landscapes Past & Present: 28 January – 25 March 2012 In 2 Landscape Exhibition – Quay Gallery, Quay Theatre Sudbury July – August 2011 Tate Modern – Group Exhibition – Hugh McKelvey Room – February 2010 Collective Fragments – November 2009 – January 2010 Sizzler – Jago Space, Red Church Street, July 2008 Manchester Town Hall Gallery October 2007 Mall Galleries September 2007
Kaypohing Singer and Friedlander – Sunday Times Water Colour Competition ’20 x 20′ – White Chapel, July 2007 Juddykes John Jones Arts Space Curated by Ben Judd & Howard Dyke 2007 Jam – John Jones Group Exhibition August 2006 The Artist & Illustrators Art Fair, Business Design Centre, July 2005 Wood through the trees – John Jones Group Exhibition August 2005 The Hunting Art Prize – RCA Gallery February 2005 The Jerwood Drawing Prize – London September 2004 Ooze – John Jones Group Exhibition July 2004 The London Drawing School, St Martin in the Fields Crypt Gallery May 2004 Royal West of England Show Bristol, October 1999 Royal College of Art M.A.Graduation Show 1996
Residencies Snape Maltings, Britten Pears Arts July 2021 The Savoy June 2012 – August 2012 Hampstead School of Art 2010 Heatherley’s School of Fine Art 2011 BBC Heritage Artist in Residence 1999 – 2001
Zoom Rockman, 21, is a political cartoonist and puppet animator, who at the age of 16, became the youngest cartoonist in Private Eye Magazine history and has since become a regular contributor; he is presently studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins
Evening Standard have named him one of the Most Influential Londoners under 25
Described as ‘a rising star with edgy wit and genuine cultural awareness well beyond his years,’ his award-winning comic, The Zoom! has attracted wide critical acclaim for its funny and irreverent critique of urban life, as well as a cult following.
He recently featured in Instagram’s first ever ’21 Under 21’ list, within the Art category.
Zoom’s NHChess cartoon forms the cover artwork for ‘Dr Hammond’s Covid Casebook’ the latest best-selling book from Private Eye published in August 2021.
His Skanky Pigeon comic strip will feature prominently in the upcoming exhibition ‘BEANO:THE ART OF BREAKING THE RULES’ at Somerset House 21 October – 6 March 2022; Skanky Pigeon first appeared in the Beano when Zoom was 12 years old and the youngest ever regular contributor.
Zoom is the inventor of a range of paper puppetry techniques which he will be presenting at the annual International Magic Lantern Society Presentation in London on 23rd October; over lockdown he began to develop and invent his own unique styles of paper puppetry to bring his favourite Blues singers from history to life using live action animation.
In the run up to COP26 in Glasgow this November, Zoom has been commissioned by the Arts Council England to highlight the growing climate crisis online to 18-24 year olds through film. His hand-built puppets of Greta Thunberg and a sea turtle singing a Michael Jackson-inspired song will feature in his film, which will be launched at the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival on 15 October.
‘The Presidents: 250 Years of American Political Leadership’ by Iain Dale will be published by Hodder and Stoughton UK on 11 November 2021; all 46 Presidents featured are illustrated by Zoom. The previous book in the series, ‘The Prime Ministers,’ also illustrated by Zoom, won Political Book of The Year 2020
Zoom was the Winner of the Mel Calman Award for Pocket Cartoon of The Year 2019 with his Private Eye cartoon about homelessness in Finsbury Park
He has been ‘Artist in Residence’ at Simpsons in The Strand restaurant in London since 2017
Dexter is a London-based photographer with cerebral palsy. His family moved to the United Kingdom when he was nine, having spent his early childhood in Jamaica. Growing up as a disabled child in Jamaica was exceptionally challenging in the early 90s. Dexter attended a mainstream primary school, which had little to no special provisions to accommodate disabled students. This meant walking on his hands and knees as there were no wheelchairs or crutches available. When he moved to England, it took around two years before he was accepted into a specialist school for disabled students. Dexter has always wanted to use photography as a tool to document these struggles, and to challenge the way that mainstream media represents disability.
Dexter’s work focuses on accurately depicting the challenges disabled people face in contemporary society. His method operates in a space between documentary and portraiture, and he is particularly passionate about portrait photography – one of his portraits made it to the Taylor Wessing Competition in 2016. Through his photography he hopes to represent disabled people, and to convey how people with disabilities can achieve success. He strongly believes there are some fundamental flaws in the way mainstream media corporations represent the disabled community.
Since graduating in 2020 recognition of his talent has steadily grown alongside his portfolio, with both Autograph and Disability Arts Online commissioning him to produce work during the pandemic. His first self-published monograph “Tower Avenue” was shortlisted for the MACK book prize, and he was also a guest speaker at the Bristol Photography Symposium. Several of his works have also been selected to feature in an exhibition at the Brady Arts Centre in Tower Hamlets for Black History Month. Not only does he aim to challenge media misrepresentations, through his work he hopes to inspire young disabled people to follow their dreams.
Dexter graduated from Middlesex University with a distinction grade MA in Photography
2016 – Middlesex BA Photography Year 2 show – Four Corners Gallery – UK
2016 – Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize – National Portrait Gallery – UK
2017 – Middlesex Art and Design Degree show – The Truman Brewery – UK
2017 – Free Range Photography Week 1 – The Truman Brewery – UK
2017 – D&AD New Blood Festival – The Truman Brewery – UK
2020 – Middlesex University Portrait Prize – Hendon Campus – UK
2021 – Black History Month Photography Exhibition – Brady Arts Centre – UK
2021 – Group show Autograph ABP Gallery – UK
2022 – Solo Show Orleans House Gallery