This week, we’ve got a real spring (or should we say, hop) in our step because two new artworks from Dave White have arrived at Enter Gallery.
To celebrate the release of these pieces, for today’s blog we chatted to White to discover the heart-warming story behind the portraits, and to learn more about how a life-changing event inspired him to infuse a greater sense of optimism within his work.
Introduction to Dave White
A firm favourite with Enter Gallery patrons, Dave White is a fine artist known for beautiful portraits of animals. Whether depicting mighty Great White Sharks, or elusive Hummingbirds, White’s instantly-recognisable work straddles the figurative and the abstract.
By combining gestural strokes and splatters of oil and watercolour, White infuses each piece with real sense of movement, capturing the majesty of his subjects and creating powerful artworks ideal for an ecologically-conscious age.
And in hops Bun
Every Day is a Gift and Never Stop Loving are White’s first paintings of rabbits since his original portrayal back in 2013. So, what sparked this return to bunnies?
The rabbit portrayed in these new pieces isn’t just any bunny rabbit – the star of the show is a regular visitor to White’s garden. He tells us:
“We live in the middle of nowhere in Devon and we’re surrounded by wildlife – there are foxes, buzzards, owls, all kinds of stuff. I noticed three years ago, right before Covid kicked off, that a little rabbit as small as my hand was hanging out right next to my car. It was super timid, tiny and I kept seeing it there.”
“One night, when I was leaving my studio, I saw her jump up onto the wheel arch of my car. It turned out she slept there every night. She’s got really big now. I see her every day. She’s really tame, so I can feed her. I just click my mouth and she comes running. I call her Bun.”
“She has the most amazing expressive eyes, and when the sunlight shines on her in a particular way, her fur turns a beautiful shade of lilac. It’s a real pleasure to watch her going about her daily routine, completing her circuit of the garden and returning to the safety of my wheel arch before the foxes come out for the night.”
Words of Affirmation
One new feature added to these pieces is the inclusion of hand-written messages of positivity. Dave reveals:
“My portraits of Bun were the first pieces in a while where I started putting messages on the work. When I was studying Fine Art Painting at John Moores, my work was still animal-focused, but it was bright and thick and I used to include words. It used to be something I did, so really, it’s like I’ve come full circle with it.”
“My wife got really sick. She came very close to dying. She’s here, she made it and she’s fine, but of course, I went through a whole maelstrom with it. When I started working again, painting felt very healing, and it sparked a whole new thing in me - these artworks come from a place of looking at things in a new way. Being optimistic and incredibly grateful for what we have, being in the present moment and enjoying the fact that everything is alive. These works are about being alive, and being grateful for that every day.”
“I’ve always been very aware of everything around me, and nature and everything, but with this series, it almost feels like when I was painting them, I was seeing nature afresh again through the eyes of a kid. I realised that every single thing that I see that fuels my work has got its own life and story and day, and I want to celebrate that.”