Spotlight

Feature Dawn Beckles Reinvigorates Still Life

Championed by Erica Davis
Visual Arts
The Wick - As You Watch,
110x120cm
Above  As You Watch, 110x120cm
ONES TO
WATCH
ONES TO
WATCH
The Wick - Dawn Beckles in the studio
Above  Dawn Beckles in the studio
Interview
Dawn Beckles and Erica Davis
21 April 2021
Interview
Dawn Beckles and Erica Davis
21 April 2021
Fashion buyer turned art and interiors expert Erica Davis co-founded Murus Art in 2020 with fellow former buyer Rose O’Shea. It has since become a champion for accessible and affordable contemporary art and celebrating women’s achievements in art – 60% of the artists it represents are women and Davis hopes to encourage other galleries to up the number of female artists they also represent. Disrupting the traditional gallery format, Murus partners with Own Art to enable more people to buy art affordably with interest-free finance. Its collection also appeals to a wide variety of tastes and budgets, from limited-edition original prints and unique original pieces from well-established contemporary artists to emerging talent the duo love.

As the curator in the pair, Davis is always on the lookout for new talent, especially female artists to help readdress the gender imbalance in art. This is a cause she shares with mixed media artist Dawn Beckles, who she first met at an art fair when Murus Art was in the early stages of planning before reconnecting in June 2020 to discuss the online platform in the midst of the pandemic. “It was one of those moments of pure joyful discovery; her intimate, uplifting and vibrant work was mesmerising. I instantly felt Dawn communicating her experiences to me through her work,” Davis says.
Synonymous with vibrant colours and flora inspired by her native Barbados, London-based Beckles’s work is heavily influenced by her childhood memories of the Caribbean island, everyday experiences and passing conversations. She says: “Working with bright clashing colours is something that brings me great joy. I want my work to start a conversation, be it about the subject matter or the conversations with the paintings in my interiors.”

Davis adds: “Dawn has uniquely reimagined the classic still life through her bold palette, beautiful compositions and stylisation. Her work captures the indoors as an art form in a brilliantly imaginative way; interplaying memories of her childhood in Barbados with life today. 

“Before the home became a popular artist’s muse during lockdown, Dawn was telling stories of the intimate relationship between interiors and their owners. The glimpses Dawn gives into unknown imagined worlds feel exciting, voyeuristic and engaging. 

“Dawn adds a subtle dusting of humour and intrigue to her interiors. I particularly love it when she includes a painting within a painting. The beauty and playfulness of her work lies in the discovery of new details and the conjuring of narratives to drift away to.”

Davis is not alone in her appreciation. In the past three years, Beckles has been selected for Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, #Not30 at The Other Art Fair, which highlighted the discrepancy between male and female artists represented by galleries and in museum collections, and has two pieces in the Soho House Collection on display at Shoreditch House and Soho Farmhouse.

You can see her work next in the summer at Wimbledon Art Studios, The Other Art Fair and as part of an all-female show at 99 Projects in Kensal Rise. Until then, Beckles’s recently released The Perfume Collection brightens up any day.

About the champion

The Wick - Rose O'Shea and Erica

Erica Davis is a Gallery Director, Start-up Founder and former Head of Buying who co-founded Murus Art with an aim simplify the process of buying art online. The innovative platform offers consumers a completely immersive experience by combining real home-setting imagery with augmented reality, so that clients can try before they buy.

“Her work captures the indoors as an art form in a brilliantly imaginative way.”

Erica Davis

Place of Birth

Barbados

Education

BA Design at London Metropolitan University

Awards, Accolades

Shortlisted for the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition. “Lyris Cloditha” by Dawn Beckles was also longlisted for the BP Portrait Award.


Upcoming projects/exhibitions

I’m working towards Open Studios at Wimbledon Art Studios (26-27 June), The Other Art Fair at West Handyside Canopy (1-4 July) and an all-female show with 99 Projects in Kensal Rise.


Share story
Further information
READ MORE
The Wick - Christabel Blackburn, What am I Supposed to See, oil on linen, 30 x 30cm
Spotlight

Feature There’s no slowing down Christabel Blackburn

Visual Arts
The Wick - Gommie
Spotlight

Feature Gommie, the walking poet-artist

Visual Arts
The Wick - Bindi Vora
I Don’t Believe In Gestures
From the series Mountain of Salt (2020-21) Archival giclée print; 20.32 x 20.32 cm
© and courtesy the artist
Spotlight

Feature Bindi Vora’s beautiful record of the pandemic

Visual Arts
The Wick - Passport, Sarah Maple
Spotlight

Feature Sarah Maple shines a light on the big issues

Visual Arts
The Wick - Feature Dawn Beckles Reinvigorates Still Life
Spotlight

Feature Cyrus Mahboubian reignites our love of Polaroids

Visual Arts
The Wick - Pia Pack Light 2021 90 x 70cm Acrylic on canvas
Spotlight

Feature Pia Pack’s positivity is what you need right now