Derek was born in 1960, the first boy and third child of four, at his grandparents public house ‘The Bedford’ in the heart of Plymouth’s city centre. In 1970 his parents acquired a public house and relocated the family to the small Southeast Cornish village of St Germans.
After leaving school in 1976 Derek studied to become a hairstylist, leading to a successful career seeing him manage two leading Plymouth salons and teaching at Plymouth College. Following the death of his father in 1980 Derek discontinued his hairdressing career to manage the family business.
In 1983 Derek relocated to London. He worked as a designer and stylist for film, photography, television, video and performance, as an assistant director on music videos and was also engaged in artist management and PR. His work was wide-ranging, predominantly associated with the music industry, working with various leading international artists (e.g. Annie Lennox, Kiki Dee, Shakespeare’s Sister, Morrissey, Elton John, and Rod Stewart), traveling extensively throughout Europe and touring the USA, Australia, Japan, and South America.
In 1994 Derek returned to Cornwall where he lives in a remote farm cottage on the southern part of the Port Eliot Estate. He completed his Fine Arts degree in 2010 at Plymouth University, a stone’s throw away from the pub where he was born. Derek has recently return to his roots, working in his studio in Laira Battery, Plymouth.
Graduate artist Derek Dickinson originates from the south west of England, where he currently works and resides.
Derek’s work is autobiographical, drawing expressive emotions from a turbulent past, being inspired by characters in his life and their psychological vulnerabilities and interactions. He has expressed himself through the cathartic medium of art since childhood, revealing emotions in varying mediums; film, sound, 3D and for the most part 2D.
More recently he has been working in monochrome. In effect removing all colour, working in white, with occasional tones of grey, using unique reliefs of muslin to create form, revealing eclectic, emotional expression through contorts of paint soaked fabric. Expressionistic yet controlled, muslin is thrown repeatedly and teased until the ethos of the piece is revealed.
Derek is reluctant to elucidate his work; titles limit the onlookers relationship with the work, influencing interpretation and experience.