Review: Visual art trio Déda, Derby

david j harrisonDéda provides an excellent space for diverse and distinct collections of work such as those by three very different artists who are exhibiting there this summer.

Ilkeston artist Rebecca Morledge, who cites children’s illustrator Quentin Blake as one of her influences, works with a mixture of pastels, watercolours, and ink to create highly detailed and yet playful depictions of everyday life – birds-eye views of cities, beaches, streets.

The result of her mixed media is a fascinating combination of stylised drawings versus a strong depth of light and shadow.

The pastels add a vivid glow, whereas the ink and watercolours are more muted, with each piece having focal points of colour.

Derby photographer David J Harrison’s work has a very different feel. His portraits, each one depicting a single subject, hold all the effortless tension of the human body: a dancer stretched and strong, contortionist twisted and held still.

The juxtaposition of limbs, of light, rich silk and skin against rougher background, focuses the warm tones even further.

The third artist in the show is Kerri Pratt, the winner of the sixth Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award.

Kerri, who lives at Heanor, has produced work based around industrialism, urban landscapes, and the concept of the viewer interpreting the pieces for themselves through ambiguous subject matter.

While at first glance her colour pallets seem intensely different for each piece, it becomes clear that she uses similar colours, but in differing amounts. Her pieces challenge the viewer with their unusual perspectives, and vary from vectored, blocky shapes in dramatic colours to more natural forms; however, all are heavily textured and eye-catching.

They capture the idea of reducing something to its barest self and allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps. This is a strong and wild selection of works, and an impressive one.

The exhibitions are on until July 25. For more details go to

By Tori Aitken, a student at Belper School