Graduates 2017: Cameron Duke

“Throughout my three years at The University of Brighton the influence of my surroundings have always been a strong subject linked with my work.”

Can you tell us about your work Cameron?

“I started off and am still very interested in the formations of landscapes and how landscapes can be broken down into different sections. Looking at landscapes and thinking about them in sections helped me to become more abstract in my thinking and was the key turning point in influencing me to become the process painter that I see myself as today. The combination of colour and the variety of combinations of shapes that you can find in your surroundings, from the smallest detail that someone may not notice to the bigger ones, are all extremely strong influences that help in me understanding my practice more. I also get ideas of colour combinations from cutting swabs out of fashion magazines which are then stuck on my studio wall. I am strongly influenced by the distribution of shapes and attitude towards painting by Roger Hilton, Gillian Ayres, as well as John Hoyland, after seeing his work at the Newport Street Gallery, and after watching the short documentary on him on the BBC which strongly influenced me. ”


Cameron Duke


What can we look forward to seeing in the Graduate Show? 

“In more recent works, that will be showing in the show, I have started to initially sketch out interesting shapes that I see in my surroundings, this could be external architectural sittings to details in the corner of a room sittings. These shapes are then taken back to the studio and form the visual library of shapes that are then blown up to create larger compositions. I have almost completely excluded the idea of drawing the outline of the shape first and filling it in and have instead come up with different strategies towards marks that would work in a certain composition.


Cameron Duke

I have been exploring the relationship with dry and dull muted colours combined, through to more vibrant forms to achieve a composition that pushes and pulls the eye in and out of the painting. Elements of the paintings are decorative, yet that decorative quality is subdued by bolder shapes, distancing my paintings away from being merely decorative ‘pretty’ pieces. I also strongly concentrate on the grounds, as I have to allow some of the canvas show to allow depth to the painting, which in turn invites the viewer into visually explore the painting, something I have always strived to achieve.

I want to make my paintings act as if they were a small puzzle, so you are invited to unpack how the piece was created, and in what order shapes maybe were added.”

In the show I will be showing 5 works from the body of work, ‘Detracted Outline’. That focus on the subtracted elements from doodles / sketches.”


Cameron Duke



How have you found your course?

“The course over the last three years has been invaluable and vital into understanding my practice more. The tutoring throughout the course has been exceptional and the professional conversations within crits and tutorials is key to my understanding to how my work can develop in the future. ”

What are your plans after graduating?

“Next year I will be going on to do a Masters at The Glasgow School of Art. I will be specialising in painting, but will be surrounded by people who specialise in sculpture and drawing.  I am hoping to explore more with sculpture in the future, and experimenting with the expanded field of painting.”

Take a look at Cameron’s website

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Find out more about BA(Hons) Fine Art Painting




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