"Black Is Not The Only Colour"
Every single day for the last seven months Bridport artist, David Smith, has created an 8” square artwork from scratch on the theme of Black Squares and he will do the same every day for the next five months! #BlackSquares365 is the latest daily, serial art project that Smith is undertaking. The first, a few years back, was #Collage365 which involved 8 other artists round the world making a collage every day. That was immediately followed by #Letter365, installed in the Allsop Gallery at Bridport Arts Centre in 2015, in which each day’s work was enclosed in an envelope that was only opened after it had been sold unseen. Until now it has only been possible to view and buy the #BlackSquares365 work on Smith’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, but now there is a chance for people to see them in the flesh during “Black Is Not The Only Colour”, a special 3-day open-studio event focussing on this project and other “Black Squares” work.
David Smith decided to undertake this challenge mostly as a personal discipline, to “prime the pump” for each day’s work, but also to keep his social media accounts ticking over while he was developing some new work. He says, “I am going to do this work anyway and I cannot afford the time and money to frame it then try to sell it at my usual prices. What good will it do just sitting in a box? Much better that people can have it and enjoy it and take a bit of joy and fun in the project!” So, he decided to set an affordable price of just £40 each. Smith thinks that for some people £40 is pocket money: it’s a round of drinks or a cheap meal out. For those with less disposable income but who enjoy art £40 can still be within reach and at that price people can buy them as Christmas gifts or “dated” birthday presents. So, he feels it’s quite a “democratic” price – almost anyone could buy their own small part of a larger artwork (the whole #BlackSquares365 project) an artwork spread over time and space that no one person will ever own and nobody will ever see in its entirety.
Pieces from #Blacksquares365 are now in collections throughout the UK and coast to coast in the USA. Quite a number of people have bought more than one and a collector in Scotland already has 13! With 365 individual works of art available in the full project there will still be plenty to see and to choose from during “Black Is Not The Only Colour”. This open-studio event will also feature a selection of work from Smith’s recent and earlier explorations into the Black Square theme, much of which has not exhibited in Bridport previously. Even though the starting point of these explorations is the Black Square you need not be concerned that they are sombre and all the same: as David Smith says, “Black is not the only colour and other plain geometric shapes are available.”
“Black Is Not The Only Colour” runs for 3 days only, at Studio 7B, Second Floor, Riverside Studios, Unit 10, St Michael's Trading Estate, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3RR (In the Art and Vintage quarter not far from the Red Brick Café).