Dominic is taking part in our coming Makers and Designers Market at Turner Contemporay on 4th and 5th December.
Describe what you do as a creative.
I am an artist living and working in Margate. I work primarily in photography but use a variety of materials, many of which are recycled. In recent years my work has taken on a more environmental stance, focusing on our interaction with the environment both locally and planetary. I started keeping honey bees in 2008 and I consider it part of my art practice. The project has evolved over that time and in collaboration with the bees I now produce a range of highly sustainable products which makes use of a small surplus of beeswax I get from the colonies each year.
Tell us briefly about yourself so we understand where you come from. What’s your story? What’s your [family] background?
My family, at least on one side, are from rural France so I had a slightly different experience of childhood to my peers in London. I think I’ve always appreciated the outdoors more than the indoors and am seldom happier than riding a bicycle or sleeping in a tent. Everything I do is an attempt at better understanding the world.
Q6.What did you want to be when you were growing up?
For a while I remember wanting to be a dolphin. They look like they have a great time, apart from when they get caught in a net obviously.
How did you begin doing what you do? How did it all start? Did you go to art school? Did you start your practice as a hobby? Etc...
Art school taught me a certain approach and I find that a very valuable experience. Paradoxically I started learning about bees at an evening class while I was struggling with my studies and wanted to do something less academic. The two recombined some years later. A lot of my time is spent pondering the most appropriate use of materials, whether it be art, food or whatever. It’s very frustrating with this mindset to see the profligate use of the world’s resources often for little benefit.
keeping bees is a great entry point for learning about complex biologcal systems and it seems logical to me that Wild Margate should be a way of doing justice to the incredible work done by the honeybees. I try to engage people with that way of thinking, both about bees and the wider issues around resources and waste.
What turns on your creativity? What triggers your need to create and to make art?
It’s a mixture of a lot of things. Curiosity is a big driver, I use my art practice as a framework to experiment and learn new things. I also use photography as a way of spending time outdoors and looking at things very carefully.
What do you like best about your work?
I like the way I only have a certain amount of control over what I do. I started making a series of sculptures recently and they really went off in a completely unintended direction. However much you plan I think any creation naturally takes on a certain life of its own.
When were you most satisfied in your work? What is your golden moment so far?
I did a project for Margate Now a couple of years ago called Margate Reimagined. Part of that is now going to the Folkestone Triennial so I’m quite happy with that outcome.
Describe a memorable response to your work? The way people responded to a piece of your work? What was their reaction? What did they say?
“That was you? I had no idea!”
What is your dream project?
I recently completed a project which involved walking from London to Margate along the Thames and the estuary. I’d really like to find the time or the funding to walk sections of the coast around the rest of the UK, predominantly the industrial or former industrial areas.
Which artists / creative people are your heroes? Inspiring figures?
I draw inspiration from a lot of people but to pick a couple from the top of the pile I’d say Greta Thunberg and Jeremy Deller. Greta because it’s inspiring to see today’s young people achieve something where my generation has so spectacularly failed, and Jeremy because I really like his way of thinking.
Your idea of happiness
Eating a really nice sandwich while sitting on a crumbling wall.
What art/creativity related book should everyone read?
Rebecca Solnit – Wanderlust. Walking is so underrated and this is a great outline.
Tell us a lesson life has taught you.
Convenience is a curse.