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David Drey

David Drey is a British painter based in East Sussex.

David was the Winner of the Towry Award for Best of South of England in the National Open Art Competition and the 2nd prize winner at the Wells Contemporary Open, both 2012. In 2008 David won the 2nd prize in the Marmite Prize for Painting.


I subscribe to a notion of painting as a kind of ‘box’ theatre. The ‘box’ refers to a 3D world but equally emphasises the flat surface, a ‘thing in itself’ quality that expresses the play of plane and depth and the pleasurable ambiguities of perception. The box can be an arena for phantasy or realism; it can be shallow or deep; it can be empty or full. The box represents the world of nature (that includes inner nature) and in this way is a space potentially accessible to all.

The box is a construct. It is always artifice. Throughout history paintings have been an arena for drama and action, grandeur, truth, humbleness, plays of authenticity, composition and form, a vast array of environments, styles and moods; the primitive; the elemental; the eloquent and the blunt; the joyful; the grim: a kaleidoscope of responses to the world. The ‘box’ creates nature for the human mind.