David Worthington was drawn to sculpture form a young age. During his pre-primary school period he pinched a penknife from his father and whilst staying with relatives in the country he picked up a log out walking in the woods. Gouging out holes for the eyes, nose and mouth and he painted them red. It was his first sculpture. Later at the age of 10 he found a “thing” at the back of his history book and asked his art teacher if he could make something like it. It was Barbara Hepworth’s Single Form at the UN building New York. Inspired by a monograph on the Modernist sculptor Jean Arp, at 16 he carved his first piece in stone, continuing with an A level in sculpture.
During his sixties childhood in London he watched lots of TV especially the Science Fiction series: Stingray, Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and of course Star Trek. He loved the imagery, styling and props from these programs. This manifested later in his life when the forms he began to create had strange shapes as if they had come form outer space. Growing up in London he was aware of the sixties building boom and the introduction of design into the home. His father had Danish furniture in particular the PK24 chaise lounge by Poul Kjaerholm, that no one ever used because it was so uncomfortable. So design became another formative interest.
Whilst visiting his relations in Sussex and Wiltshire during his early childhood he came to love the landscape of the rolling Downs. And this was deepened when his father eventually moved to West Dorset when he was 9. So from early childhood he was drawn to sculpture, carving, Modernism, design, Science Fiction and the rolling landscape of the Downs. Nature, culture, industry have all remained central to his practice. In his work he explores the relationship between these parts of our existence, pairing different elements together. The natural material stone, is combined with stainless steel , hooks, heating elements, bearings, and paint. So there is a dialogue between these elements referring to the nature/culture dichotomy.
“Sculpture is a reflection of our bodies emanating from that sculptural ideal within” he says . “I believe in the power of objects to touch people on an emotional level. The audience responds to the work physically. There is an intelligence and knowledge within the body that understands the sculpture before the brain decodes it. People can interact with my sculptures, climb on them, touch, and turn them.”
David graduated from Oxford University in 1984 with a degree in Philosophy and Theology, then studied fine art in London, Barcelona and New York. A maker he also curates and writes about art. Working primarily as a sculptor in stone he has 25 years professional practice including working as a carver for Anish Kapoor.
Working from an old dairy barn studio in Bridport Dorset in the South West of England he combines traditional carving with the latest cutting edge design. He works with stone sourced from throughout the world. He has experience of working with developers, architects, engineers, civic bodies, builders, and contractors. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2009. He is a Fellow of The Royal British Society of Sculptors, and was Vice President in 2010-13. He has carried out public commissions in the UK, America and Japan, and in 2010 he installed a large public sculpture in Great Queen St, Covent Garden, London for Henderson Global Investors. His work is in the museum the Creative Cities Collection Beijing China. He has had solo shows at the Lefevre Gallery, Sladers Yard, Horatio’s Garden, the William Bennington Gallery, and at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
In October 2017 he is having a solo show at the Lightbox Gallery Woking.