David Gilbert


I have always been interested in form and colour, and originally began with wheel-thrown ceramics, including evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art where I exhibited with other students.

Subsequently I took up painting, with a preference for oils and watercolour, and later moved into sculpture. I have worked in plastic materials: clay, wax and plaster, but now produce carved sculptures in predominantly stone – from the UK and Zimbabwe – and wood, including West African hardwood and English green oak.

My current sculptural work has a strong figurative theme around the human form, where I try to express movement or emotional energy in different contexts. The inspiration of some of my recent sculptures has been infused by the energy that I experience from open swimming in ponds and the sea.

One catalyst for this was my Artist in Studio Residence in Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall in 2016. I took forward this theme in my Artist’s Residence in Stephens House & Gardens in 2017 where my carvings from large greenwood oak trunks was inspired by African, MesoAmerican and Oceanic art.

I make my own watercolour paints from basic pigments including lapis lazuli, carmine, aurileon, viridian, Japanese ink stick and metals. Another medium that I use is egg tempera, of course with pigments, and gilded with gold and silver leaf and paint. Metalpoint (silver and gold) is another medium that I like to use – all ‘mistakes’ are features!

I am a printmaker, with my main activity in drypoint, mezzotint, burin engraving and acid etching.

I’m active in photography, including portraying the beauties of Hampstead Heath, where I’m an all year round open water swimmer in the Highgate Men’s Pond.

Born and bred in London, I have previously lived and worked in East Africa and Central America as well as in Scotland.

I am currently a member of East Finchley Open, with another home page there.


July 2007: Glasgow School of Art, end of year part-time: pottery.

July 2014 & July 2015: East Finchley Open House, London.

September 2015: Rhythm ‘n Blues (East Finchley Open) – Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, London.

December 2016: Breaking Boundaries (East Finchley Open) – Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, London.

March 2017: Regeneration with East Finchley Open at Stephens House, London

July 2017 & July 2018: East Finchley Artists Open House, London.

March 2019: Primavera at the Barbican Library, London

July 2019: East Finchley Artsists Open House, London

February 2021: East Finchley Artists: A favourite page from my sketchbook [online]

May 2021: East Finchley Artists: Where we were longing to be during lockdown [online]

September 2021: East Finchley Artists Open House, London

November 2021: The Northern Line Exhibition, East Finchley Open Artists at The Gallery, Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, London.

June 2022: East Finchley Artists Open House, London

June-July 2023: East Finchley Artists Open House, London


July 2016: Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall [web page]

May-October 2017: Stephens House London [photo blog] [video]