After completing a Fine Art degree in Portsmouth Donald moved to Bristol for the 1980’s – teaching Art and developing an unhealthy fascination for the more hedonistic aspects inner city life. The vibrant music scene- mainly reggae and jazz, late night lock-ins, St Paul’s riots and living in the heart of a working class, largely West Indian community profoundly shaped his art. He found himself painting observations of life in this community, his work started to tell stories and to express the both vitality and the struggles of his community.
A move to Bradford expanded this representation of urban life. he joined the Nicholas Treadwell Gallery as artist in residence, giving the opportunity for his work to reach an international audience. Joining this gallery and its community of artists, coupled with an MA in Printmaking enriched and influenced my work both in form and content. Donald's commentary moved beyond the simple, observed situation. A sense of irony, tension and also humour was applied to contemplation of the complexities of the human condition. The results were multi-layered narratives - at times confusing, deliberately open-ended and enticing the viewer to speculate their interpretation, adding their own experience. This discursive, 'is it or isn't it?' kind of text is heightened by the assortment of visual devices I employed. Semi-transparency and subtle distortion provides a visual link between the real and the suggested, the imagined, or the past. His painting style became more precise, be it paintings in oil, pastel drawings, traditional or digitally embellished prints
Donald's images are fuelled with visual metaphors. "Perhaps I like to tease the viewer into questioning their position - "should I be searching for hidden meanings or do I simply enjoy the playfulness of the pictures?" What I see as success is an audience exploring the narrative possibilities and adding their own feelings, attitudes and life experience." - Donald C Myers
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