2021 Spotlight on Jeremy Diggle

The studio at the Church House in Combeinteignhead is really close to a wonderful pub ‘The Wild Goose’. The studio itself is on the ground floor of a late 16th century building that has been held in Church Trust since the 1620s. Therefore the studio building predates the Parliamentary Civil War and was newly built at the time of Shakespeare.

I’m an abstract painter and printmaker and I have always made art. From an early age there was never any chance that I would do anything else in life. I grew up in the early years of the space-age and feel enormously privileged to have been able to experience an analogue pre-digital childhood of stories and adventures, wandering freely in the streets of my home town in the north east of England.

I went to art school in London at 18 and I never really left, starting as an undergraduate at St Martins I moved onto postgraduate at the Royal College of Art. When I left the RCA I was fortunate to get some part-time teaching at a number of art schools. Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to have been taught by and to have worked alongside many of the best artists, teachers and students, at some of the leading art schools in the world.

In my early career I moved to work at Exeter College of Art and Design, which is now the University of Plymouth. When I moved from Exeter I worked and was based in Scotland from where I also visited and taught at many art schools throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. I eventually relocated to New Zealand and Australia. On returning to the UK from Australia in 2014 I established my permanent home in Devon.

My studio practice involves the performance of abstract mark making in a temporal relationship to the construction of colour compositions. This making process is not a subjective self-expressionistic action, but a narratively expressionistic act and is a consciously objective performative approach to painting. My practice could be seen as analogous to making and performing musical composition. Although my work is unapologetically urban and may seem very much at odds with the rural landscape of Devon, my heart is rooted to the coastal landscapes of this beautiful county as place to live and work.

Jeremy’s studio is venue 128 in Teignbridge.