Born March 4th 1944 into the heavy industry of South Bank, Middlesbrough. David Watson has lived this and to live something is to understand the bones of it.The marks, which remain in his flesh, the information both physical and mental, bring an invisible honesty, placing Watson in the thick off it
“I breathed the soot, muck and dirt in everyday, it’s inside me, it’s part of me”.
The work of this little known and rarely exhibited post war painter from Southbank, are instantly familiar. They catch at the back of your throat like the biting wind whipping through the steely light of the early morning shift, an industrial story told through the belching smoke signals of the chimneys and works he holds so dear.
Painting from memory, a biological machine, dreaming, remembering, forgetting and making sense of the then and now, Watson paints what he knows, what he is, what he understands. As an 11 year old he attended Victoria Street Secondary Modern Southbank, home of Tom Dalton’s infamous Victoria Street Art Club.
Under the watchful gaze of Dalton, Watson flourished alongside the late David “Monte” Mulholland and the celebrated Len Tabner, artists with their own style, their own take on the world around them – an extraordinary moment in time never to be repeated.Watson left Victoria Street at 17 to attend Middlesbrough College of Art. Here he was taught by the influential Joe Cole (deceased), however also continued at Dalton’s Art Club 2 evenings a week until the age of 19.
At 19 when his contemporaries pushed the creative boundaries and attended university, Watson (through financial restraints of the time) entered the world of industry.
February 10, 2022