Doug lives in East London and is influenced and informed by the visual language of his immediate surroundings and community. The urban aesthetics of daily life, an environment dominated by commanding authoritarian security and street signs, are commonly embellished and adorned with graffiti from anonymous commentators, compelled to make their mark, additions and adjustments.
Sourcing these neglected and often overlooked artefacts from the streets, selectively curating them with his own finishing details, he thus elevates them to a higher art status in an informal gallery setting.
The concept of ownership, originality and authenticity is thrown into debate, as the organically collaborative works, in essence, become a result of several guises with the interaction of many artists that unwittingly contribute to the final work. An item of neglected functional civic signage or discarded piece of scrapped builders’ detritus, encrusted in graffiti, transcend their decaying street status to become readymades, wall panels and artworks.
Security warning signs become ironically dysfunctional, contrasting their original function, to manifest as abstract drawings of illegible scribbles, territorial tags and markings. Traffic signs lose their direction and meaning to spray paint and graffiti, while street furniture and disposed household items assume new roles as decorative sculptures and artworks.
With a playful sensibility and awareness of popular culture, Doug curates these works to challenge and mock security, authority and tease the often fickle and ambiguous world of contemporary urban and fine art.
These adjusted commonplace objects present a reflective commentary regarding the ubiquitous development and relentless regeneration of the urban metropolis.
Housed in a former 19th Century Church and Priory complex, Salty Commune is an unique workspace for like-minded creatives and nonconformists with common interests to come together and create their own culture.
Generously hosted as the first by Salty Commune, this is Doug’s premier solo show, following a succession of several recent group exhibitions of sculpture, installation and film work across the UK, London and Venice.