About the Book
The Ocean Within works document the artist’s latest creative journey as he follows his unique path to explore an emotional, spiritual and in a sense, literal reality, a reality that lies deep beneath the superficial appearance of things. Giles’ approach to painting is intuitive, spontaneous and inspirational. He paints because he is driven to uncover a mystical narrative, as though he is using painting to peer into the depths of the unconscious. Thus, Giles looks at his paintings like he remembers his dreams. They are his paintings but they are from his unconscious. They are not consciously controlled. When I asked him about this, Giles said, “If I am trying to do anything it is trying not to try. As someone with a long standing interest and affinity with Buddhism one can understand my approach to painting as a sort of meditation, as an emptying of the mind rather than conscious intention. Like the Zen archer, I am not trying to shoot the arrow. Rather I am seeking to allow the arrow to be shot.” As a process for unconscious expression, Giles’ paintings may provide potent guidance and insight for the artist. But the depths to which the artist trawls, provides also, something universal, as though the artist has brought back to us images and meanings from the collective unconscious.
Giles’ invites us to peer through symbolic windows into a deeper reality, to dis-cover inner worlds: Worlds which can speak to us of something which we cannot take our eyes, or at least the inner eye of our imagination, off. This inner world is the world of spirit. In this sense painting for Giles is a spiritual journey. As well as being in the tradition of all kinds of artists in the modern age, this process also comes from and connects with, a more ancient source; when the artist was shaman and the artist’s role to journey down into the spirit world to find messages, symbols and meanings to bring back to the tribe. Giles journeys deep, dragging back to the surface abstract expressions of a mystical, spiritual reality. Sometimes this reality is quiet and meditative, sometimes, alchemical and energetic, sometimes ethereal and ineffable, sometimes the images conjure up places like postcards from some imaginary journey. In all cases, Giles provides us with space that demands our attention and pulls us into a subterranean perception. A perception that can challenge us to look deep inside ourselves, into a reality we may ordinarily avoid but which can open up for us a sense of revelation that there is more to life than meets the ordinary eye. And as we contemplate the deep and mystical space Giles has created we are taken on a journey into a complex, evocative and fascinating field of visual and poetic engagement.
Sonja Vujic Art Agent
Cited by the Sunday Times as, “One of Australia’s most exciting contemporary painters” David Giles has twenty art awards and thirty three solo exhibitions to his name. Exhibiting since 1994, Giles has shown in New York, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Western Australia. Now represented in numerous collections worldwide, Giles also teaches politics, philosophy, history and creative arts at Murdoch University. A former Director of the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts, Giles is currently Chair of the Freedom School, a professional development program for practicing and aspiring artists. Listed as a WA Leader for his “achievements, leadership and contribution to the community,” Giles has been artist in residence at Heathcote Cultural Centre, 58-60 Duncraig Rd in Applecross, Western Australia since 2004. Hosted by Challenger TAFE WA Centre for Adult Education the David Giles studio is open every Sunday 10am to 4pm when you can meet the artist and see him at work.