Dave Wood is an internationally recognised Australian calligrapher and graphic designer. Born in Manchester, England, he studied graphic design, but became interested in the field of calligraphy. He moved to New Zealand in 1964 and pursued his graphic design career for 20 years, then moved towards calligraphy as the focus of his career. Dave learnt his art from various teachers, including the brilliant Donald Jackson – calligrapher to Queen Elizabeth II.
Dave held the first ever solo exhibition of Calligraphy in New Zealand in 1983. Since then, he has gone on to exhibit in many galleries throughout Australia, New Zealand, and overseas. Dave moved to Australia in 1985, and his work is exhibited at three galleries in Australia. His main gallery is at Surf Beach, Bateman’s Bay, as well as a gallery in Bungendore Square, just outside Canberra, and at the Quay Fine Art Gallery in The Rocks, Sydney.
In 1991, Dave was awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators in London – putting him in a select group of about 80 members, of which only two are Australian. Dave is also a teacher, and has run several workshops on calligraphy. He has taught at the Sydney Graphics College, as well as teaching privately.
Dave Wood’s work has been reproduced in many books on calligraphy. In 1999 he published his book “The Painted Word” – which reproduces over 75 of his works, and includes notes on the creation of each one.
Dave’s work does not only use calligraphy and its traditional partners such as gilding, illuminating and embossing, but also the art of paper cutting or paper sculpture. Dave combines marvellous three-dimensional art with the beauty of his calligraphy. He is celebrated for his inspired use of colour, his modern approach to this ancient art, and the deep emotional response that his works can draw from the viewer. Dave Wood pioneers new and innovative methods, while still demonstrating his expertise in the ancient art of the scribe.
Dave has a few signature works. The Maori poet Hone Tuwhare has given Dave permission to use his work “Rain”– and Dave renders this beautiful piece in many different ways. It is always sold as an original – prints are never made of Dave’s “Rain” pieces. Dave Wood also frequently renders what is said to be Chief Seattle’s reply to Governor Stevens – a speech generally considered to be one of the most beautiful environmental statements ever made.
Dave Wood’s work can be viewed and bought at http://www.davewood.com.au/index.php.
Acknowledgements: Dave Wood’s book “The Painted Word”, and http://www.davewood.com.au/index.php, also information from Jan Wood – Dave Wood’s wife
Disclaimer: I have no personal interest, economic or otherwise, in promoting Dave Wood’s work. I just like it.