INTERVIEW: David Scott – Fantasy Turns To Reality | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Lurid, fluorescent, and acid-tinged, designer and graphic artist David Scott’s collaboration with No More Nowt is an arresting evocation of nineties club culture, captured in a series of wild, typography-heavy slogan posters that vividly capture the sugar-rush of the end-of-the-century dance music and nightlife scene.

Returning to his home town of Peterlee, David discovered No More Nowt, an organisation based in the town and dedicated to boosting arts and culture participation in County Durham’s underserved areas, making lasting changes by attracting locals to enjoy art experiences in their own communities.

With his work walking the line between a neon-tinted nostalgia and the heady future we could be living in had the club kids of the second summer of love had their dreams realised, for David the posters are deeply connected to his sense of place and abiding love of the North East cultural landscape.

All the posters are personal to me in some way. Either my views on life and work, or my love of escapism and fantasy,” he said. “I think coming from the North East, and particularly East Durham, there is a constant visible reminder of how shit life can be, so I think my work is often me documenting the struggle versus the escapism wrapped up in silly slogans, hot pinks, and garish gradients.”

With most of the work created by himself in recent years — much of it during the lockdown era when many of us sought escape in our own warm, glowy pasts — David is looking forward to seeing how people react to the exhibition. “It will be interesting to see how people feel about it. It’s a bit self indulgent to be honest! I’d be just as pleased if someone loved it as much as someone hated it. Least it would make them feel something either way.”

I think my work is often me documenting the struggle versus the escapism wrapped up in silly slogans, hot pinks, and garish gradients

David was particularly keen to link up with No More Nowt, who have engaged nearly 150,000 people in creative activities over almost a decade, bringing £4.6 million in cultural investment to the regions. “No More Nowt is an amazing organisation that engages with people across County Durham to choose, create and take part in creative experiences. In places like Peterlee it can often feel like culture or art isn’t really a thing so I think the work they do is really special. On a personal level they’re also a joy to work with too which matters a lot.”

Most importantly to David and his practice, the work is constantly evolving. Anyone who has glimpsed his work already may well have spotted that things aren’t quite as they once were.

The versions showing at No More Nowt are not the same as the versions I’ve shared online,” he reveals, “and I imagine there will be further iterations again in the future. I’m not precious about them either – they’re not pieces of perfect design, and I like that the messaging and visuals may repeat but also transform into something else in the future too.”

While it’s hard for him to choose a favourite piece, he feels the series of posters he created for Megan Jepson’s Meet Me At The Moor Exhibition are a particular highlight.

They’re a mix of Meg’s incredible photography but viewed through a lairy funfair lens of rainbow gradients coupled with funfair slogans. Working Isn’t Class seems to be the one piece that resonates most with people currently though,” he reflects, although I did see a post from a graffiti account on instagram that said Jobs Are Shite, and that’s probably a better way to say what I mean.”

David Scott – Fantasy Turns To Reality is exhibited at No More Nowt, Peterlee until 2nd April.

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