Born in 1963 in Perth, Scotland, Derrick Guild has been the recipient of many awards for his unique work. Guild’s paintings and objects reference European still life of the 15th to 19th centuries. The drama, allegory and naturalism inherent in this period of painting speak to Guild of ever-present dilemmas of the human condition. His works are classical, formal and at the same time contemporary in their sense of dislocation and ambiguity.
‘In my work I am trying to create fluidity between the past and present. I make still life paintings using oil on canvas and objects that use a wide range of materials including cast resin, oil paint and miscellaneous materials. In the paintings, I am trying to harness the look and feel of the great European still life tradition. I want to hijack the high drama and emotional integrity that resonates in the work of that era. I aim to marry that look and feel to contemporary ideas and thoughts that include religion, colonialism, genetic modification, sexuality, commodification of nature, fecundity, humour, appropriation, addiction, beauty, absurdity, surrealism and realism. This list is always growing and is never closed. I feel the still life format easily allows narrative and metaphor, complexity and simplicity to be conveyed. Whilst every painting can be read alone, I feel that they are each a single sentence in a much longer and ongoing dialogue. The objects are in a sense three-dimensional versions of my still life paintings. They have developed from the realisation that an object resonates differently when it interacts in a space as a real object. I am trying for a more heightened sense of realism so that the experience of the object is not filtered through the two-dimensional canvas.’ – Derrick Guild