David Willis is known as a contemporary abstract painter. Using an abstract painterly language, Willis creates landscape-like images with pictorial depth and a sense of physical space. The evolution of recent bodies of work has seen a deeper engagement with the natural world. In the Jungle series the gestural brushstrokes become plantlike forms shrouded in the shadows of the Jungle. The latest series Undersea directs the focus to elemental waves and marine flora. These biological landscapes find meaning in the richly textured surfaces, where the physical properties of the material are embraced, and no attempt is made to hide the rough trace of the artist’s hand.
The paintings champion the natural world, protecting these habitats by immortalizing them in paint. The work therefore becomes a political statement, rejecting human primacy - as no figures appear throughout. In this time of accelerating climate change caused by human activity, Willis casts his vote to treasure the natural world and invites viewers to consider the beauty of our fragile planet.