Duncan Poulton

Duncan Poulton

What’s your background?

I grew up in Birmingham, UK, where I went to school before doing an art foundation at School of Art Bournville. Both my parents are designer-makers. I took my undergraduate studies in Fine Art Critical Practice at the University of Brighton, before moving to London to work in the moving image industry. From 2019–21 I did an alternative postgraduate programme called the Syllabus which was run by Wysing Arts Centre and a consortium of other UK galleries.

What influences you artistically?

On a daily basis I’m wandering about the streets like a magpie looking for inspiration – graffiti, chewed up posters, objects arranged in rubbish piles – but I’m most actively influenced by amateur and ‘prosumer’ content I find online, which I end up collaging into my work. I also watch a lot of films and look at a lot of art, and lately have been getting more into fiction. Recently I’ve been looking back at the work of artists like Marc Chagall, Sigmar Polke, Robert Rauschenberg and Manfred Pernice. Music and video games are also another big underlying influence, particularly those who concatenate different styles and historical periods within new work.

How do you start a new work?

I’m always drawn to the phrase “I’ll know it when I see it” – my work begins with a gathering process, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new seeds of work. These seeds may become still digital collages, or go into moving image works, or both. Quite often its finding two or three of these seeds that collide together in an interesting way, that will make me start drawing up a new video.

What are you working on right now?

I’m preparing for a big digital showcase of my work at Outernet in central London in collaboration with WeTransfer, and making a new video installation for a solo show with Division of Labour gallery in Manchester, which opens Spring 2023. I’m excited to try working with animation and AI with this, and am collaborating on a new curatorial/archive project with Nick Smith for a screening in early 2023 in London.