David Emmanuel Noel is primarily a visual artist with a wealth of experience collaborating with musicians and performing acts. As a painter and illustrator, David has taught art and worked closely with bodies such as New York’s Groundswell Community Mural Project, the UK Department of Health, the Royal Institute of British Architects, National Network for Art in Health and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children with an aim to promote the social and therapeutic benefits of art in public spaces.
Whilst a student, David was heavily involved in a number of community art initiatives in south London. This included a short period as a Director and Chair of The Brixton Artists Collective (BAC) in the early 1990s. After three years involved in BAC he co-founded Artsway Ltd, a promotion company for visual and performance artists in the UK. The company was behind several programmes combining art, poetry and music at London venues such as the Southwark Playhouse, The Oval Theatre and Questors Theatre Ealing.
David’s experience of public art programmes includes work with Core Creative, a collective of UK based visual and performing artists co-ordinating art projects for young mental health patients and the New York Mural Project 'New York City is a Rollercoaster’, the first collaboration between NYC Department of Transportation, the Office of the Mayor and Groundswell Community Mural Project: A small team of artists including muralists Belle Benfield and Chris Beck, designed an image to modernise and rejuvenate the entrance to a 900-foot-long subway underpass previously seen as a dark and unwelcoming tunnel. It now features a vivid representation of the history and diversity to be found in Washington Heights.
David continues to work on personal projects and welcomes collaborating with others.
'I've been told I have a special gift and it's incredibly satisfying to know that I can use my ability to bring joy into the lives of others. The purpose of my art through strong vibrant colours is to capture and provoke thought and a sense of the world through characters, landscapes and abstracts I paint. I am interested in some form of cultural representation, yet equally interested in the subjective aspect of painting — in the application of paint and the balance of colour, scale, line and movement. There is a great therapeutic release when I paint ...
Despite reading other subjects at college and university I maintained my enthusiasm and achieved satisfaction working with others on art projects. Perhaps my drive stems from my constant desire to challenge the view that art is a peculiar luxury benefiting a privileged few who have a license to define an artist and art itself. What is art? What is good art? To find the answer never go to an art critic or someone who feels they have sufficient experience to judge. Never go to the individual who claims to have a trained eye for seeing the wood from the trees! Art is and will always be subjective as it provides therapeutic pleasure, comfort and purpose to that individual. Art is not a luxury but a necessity for maintaining our sense of the world particularly when our understanding of it can be flawed by those who easily influence and mislead us.
I believe art plays a powerful role in recording or even distorting history and our appreciation of ourselves and others. In various mediums art is a significant tool to shape society and our future.'
David Emmanuel Noel