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Daniel come to judgement

Key details


  • 8 June 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 8 minutes

School of Arts & Humanities

What have you been up to since you left the RCA?

After receiving a global talent visa to continue my art career in the UK, I got into Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021, and soon after that, I was selected for the New Contemporaries Digital Fellowship. Both selection processes came from the submission of a digital play titled SKY EMPTY, which I did over Zoom in 2020 when I was adapting my ideas around theatre and staging to an online platform, and exploring the physicality of the digital space.

After I moved into a studio space a year ago, I started working on a solo project, The smoke from our chimney formed their sky and, in much the same way, their smoke made ours, that realised my research and thinking in an arrangement of scenes, sculptural objects and sound, which has recently shown at the Bomb Factory South Gallery. Although I haven’t been able to travel back home after graduation, I have been included in several group shows in China that were curated by RCA MA Curating Contemporary Art (CCA) alumni. I’ve also finished a PGCert through the anti-racism platform Shades of Noir and I am now an associate lecturer at University of the Arts London.

Sky Empty, digital play on Zoom

Can you tell us about the work you are exhibiting at RCA2020?

It’s a new installation I made for the degree show. It portrays a surreal derelict cityscape that connects fragments of the interior and exterior of a building. The installation is inspired by the historical and mythological portrayals of the nine-tail fox, and how this mythical animal appears with a reputation in different historical periods. When you step back, the installation looks like a landscape painting which draws you into the dimension that shows the mountain where the nine-tail fox resides. I have been trying to bring historical and mythological research into a contemporary context that alienates the familiar through theatricality and brings us into time and space collectively. I have been looking at the idea of staging, how objects perform and merging dimensions and fragments through cinematic and theatrical modes of attention.

This is something I was working towards while I was at the RCA, but the idea for the original degree show was postponed due to the pandemic. The original idea has developed in these two years through being realised in different forms and has now taken a shape that it probably wouldn’t have done two years ago. I would say it’s a good summary of what I have been developing and researching for the past two years.

How did your programme at the RCA influence your practice?

When I first got onto the Contemporary Art Practice programme, a lot of my peers were good at writing, better than me, at least in my opinion. I was never confident in my writing, but my tutors and peers really encouraged and supported me. Writing is now a very important part of my practice and it exists in its own fragmented style.

Being in Contemporary Art Practice, a course that investigates ideas in art with no ties to medium, meeting people from different disciplines encouraged me to work in various forms and modes. For example, I initiated a curatorial project to ‘recreate’ a play with nine other artists – including Andrew Hart (MA Painting, 2019) and Lucy Bird (MA Sculpture, 2019) who I met through Across RCA. Being able to book the Dyson Gallery and the [Lydia and Manfred] Gorvy Lecture Theatre also helped to realise this. Mandy Zhang from CCA, who attended the Across RCA workshop that I facilitated in 2019, has also recently invited me to lead a workshop at LUX as part of their graduate project. On top of this, having access to moving image equipment, technical workshops and getting support from the technician team allowed me to be ambitious with my work.

What have you been up to since you left the RCA?

I am extremely grateful that I have been busy. I have been fortunate to have shown and worked alongside some amazing artists and galleries. I was the Winner of the Valerie Beston Artists' Trust Award 2020 and had my first solo show at the Ordovas Gallery in Mayfair – as well as having had group shows at White Cube, Lisson Gallery, Guts Gallery, Quench Gallery, Saatchi Gallery and DADA Gallery. I am currently working on a new series of works and looking forward to a number of group shows coming up in the next few months.

In June 2020, in the last months of my Master’s at the RCA, I co-founded RCA BLK with another 2020 graduate Roxanne Simone (MA Jewellery & Metal) which I am extremely proud of. Alongside a number of members we were able to build the foundations of a now-thriving community of soon-to-be students, current students, alumni and friends. The work of RCA BLK is centred around building a legacy that is rich and diverse and full of history that reflects the achievements and accomplishments of students and alumni from the Black community that have studied at the RCA.

For Lily, Blooming Black Rose (2022)

Can you tell us about the work you are exhibiting at

I am exhibiting two pieces – a large hanging tapestry I created just for the show titled For Lily, Blooming Black Rose (2022). The tapestry pays homage to my late grandmother Lily Inez Moore and expands on my Black Roses series. I am also showing a triptych titled Dancing Black Roses, which is a series of drawings of ink on paper which I created in 2021. Both pieces are a celebration of life and my practice which I think is fitting for my degree show.

How did your programme at the RCA influence your practice?

Being in the Painting department taught me about why I love the medium of painting and why the history and legacy of painting is so important to my visual language, but also why its expansive identity is so potent to the language of contemporary art.

I developed a deeper understanding of myself which in turn allowed me to dive into my work, which you see the fruits of in my practice. I met some amazing tutors and visionaries that continue to shape the discourse of contemporary art and I am so grateful to be a part of that conversation.

School of Communication

Drawn Sculpture II

What have you been up to since you left the RCA?

I went back to Spain during the pandemic and have stayed there since. Since leaving the RCA, I have been quite busy which feels good and motivating.

I formed an animation studio with a good friend from RCA, Léon Moh-Cah (MA Animation, 2020) called Na Na Na. We are not living in the same place, but we are managing to work together very well using tools such as Zoom, Google Drive and Discord. We have worked on ten projects together so far, and each of us has our own personal career too.

It's great because while I was at the RCA Léon and I shared a working space, and even though we didn’t collaborate during our studies, we understood each other very well and were constantly giving feedback to each other – so becoming an animation duo felt very natural from the beginning.

We have just finished two big projects with Na Na Na, for TED Education and an English startup company called VEED.IO. They have both been quite challenging, which has been great as we have learnt a lot from them.


Can you tell us about the work you are exhibiting at RCA2020?

I’m exhibiting the two films I made while I was at the RCA, a film I did just after leaving the College and commercial work I have done for clients.

Since the RCA, I have only had the time to do another independent film which is a music video made in collaboration with a musician I admire a lot. I am now starting work on another independent and quite experimental film which is really exciting.

How did your programme at the RCA influence your practice?

It influenced me a lot in how I think about moving image and introduced me to an immense world of moving image artists. The programme also taught me how to tell stories and feel comfortable in this area, which was one of my aims when I applied to RCA. During the course, I managed to tell a really important story and materialised it into a film about the relationship I had with my father who had recently passed away. The film is called 2,35 m.

Thomas Hedger in his studio

What have you been up to since you left the RCA?

It’s been a strange few years since graduating, but alongside my work as a freelance illustrator, I have found myself exploring my practice more, breaking it down so I can pick out what it is that I do or for better, want to do with it. During the pandemic I found that I was confined mostly to a screen and with a lot of time, so I have tried to make the most of this chance for introspection as a way to self-validate and improve.

Recently, I have been working on a large series of line drawings, that although are digitally drawn, I don’t feel belong on a screen. I’m starting to immerse myself in more practical ways of image-making, and the more I do so the more I become fascinated by the almost chance impression it has, and how this becomes a method of image-making itself. I hope to continue along this strand until I feel the work becomes interesting enough to share.

Daniel come to judgement

Can you tell us about the work you are exhibiting at RCA2020?

The piece I’m exhibiting is new and from a completely different branch when compared with my RCA work. My graduating piece (hosted at www.world2.uk) was concerned with the relationships between image and language in an attempt to create work that had partial autonomy, and aesthetically was consistent with my normal visual language. This new work, Daniel come to judgement, is a painting inspired by its respective idiom. I had been using collage as an attempt to disconnect from my ‘usual’ style, and from this found a looser almost freeform way to draw. My work is often confined to certain rules, so I am interested to see how by opening this up, it can allow for different applications within my practice. I’m not sure whether painting is the direction that I am trying to head, but this was a way to realise my work beyond the screen.

Daniel come to judgement

How did your programme at the RCA influence your ambitions, methods or practice?

The RCA has definitely had a huge impact on all three, my ambitions seem more distant – expanded in a good way. I think I had been happy in my lane before, and maybe that route wasn’t actually enabling me to make work for myself in the way that I had imagined, so I have started to think about that more. The Visual Communication programme is in many ways a research practice – I had not considered my work as research before, but there is a process in everything. I found that exciting once I became aware of it.

What have you been up to since you left the RCA?

Since I left the RCA, I have been trying to get started as a freelancer. It was hard in the beginning so I initiated some personal projects such as the first issue of a cook book, and then, in collaboration with another graphic designer we started the Wearbooks project.

What are you showing at RCA2020?

Wearbooks is the main thing I am showing at RCA2020. During my first year in collaboration with Céline Strolz we opened a Library on the White City campus. Many tutors made donations to our Library and then with a budget from the RCA we bought books from a list made by all the students from the School of Communication, then we worked on an identity for the space and we organised an opening. In the 2nd year, I engaged with another library project but this time it was a moving library that can be worn like a coat. That was the starting point of Wearbooks.


How did your programme at the RCA influence your ambitions, methods or practice?

One thing I learned during my MA is that collaborating with others can make your work so much stronger and the creative energy of a team is something we can never reach alone. I am not saying working alone is a bad thing, I am just saying that being in a group makes certain projects possible.

Visit RCA2020 at Bargehouse – OXO Tower Wharf

Sky Empty, digital play on Zoom