David Shackleton - Tommy P


David Shackleton A4 print


David Shackleton's artwork is a meditation on what it means to be human. It asks questions of choice; the influences on our choices and the extent to which we can be independent in thought. He is interested in the effect of a busy urban life on the psyche, the pressures of socialization, conformity and the tensions caused by the confusion of ‘fitting in’ on the sense of self.


Some of his paintings reflect the desire felt by many to escape the city, or to find spaces of difference – or deviance – within it. Shackleton has a wide experience of working in mental health and this has had a deep influence on his output. The diverse array of characters he has met has expanded his insight into the possible extremities of the mind and soul, and how malleable a human personality can be.


The underlying sense of psychological trauma in his work questions perceptions of mental health. It is an issue within every corner of society, the trauma of just being human. The highlighting of darker aspects of daily life is balanced in his practice by an implicit faith in the healing power of nature. The Cheshire landscape of his childhood is a recurring theme and source of vibrant inspiration. Another major influence is impromptu travelling adventures, which feed a joyful freedom into the spirit of his expressions.

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