Daniel Chester is a Leitrim-based artist whose practice is rooted in painting. His current work focuses on the rural landscapes of the west of Ireland. He has a keen interest in exploring, through the medium of paint, the spaces that are left to the elements – uncultivated land, overgrown and wild but also rich in wildlife. The notion of finding the ethereal elements within these landscapes is his present challenge. As a visual artist and in particular as a painter he is in constant pursuit of finding solitude within these landscapes while also trying to understand the historical meaning of the sublime within landscape painting.
In that regard, he is also interested in the reality of the “Commons in Society” and the connection between the moral responsibilities of the community towards the landscape – public parks, greens, lanes, walkways and rural areas.
An enquiry into traditional drawing and painting of the landscape, in particular the idea and notion of romantics within the rural landscape, underpins Chester’s practice. His artistic influences are most notably Caspar David Friedrich, William Blake and German romanticism. In particular his work is influenced by the painting The Abbey in the Oakwood (1810) by Friedrich, as well as Dutch painting in particular the work of Pieter Bruegel and John Martin. A recurrent theme within his work focuses on disillusion with materialism, the return to the natural world, death, destruction and resurrection.
He works mainly on aluminium due to the quality of it’s surface. On completion of this process residency, Chester is presenting a body of new work until 30 December.
Chester obtained a Masters in Visual Arts Practices from IADT in 2009, previous to that he obtained a Degree in Fine Art from IT Sligo in 2001. Chester has exhibited throughout Ireland and abroad. He has been awarded a number of visual arts bursaries and was solo award winner for the Cairde Visual Award 2016 at The Model.