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Meet the DORSET ART WEEKS artists: Dylan Leddington & Ady Raj

Ady Raj, Sea stained with sunlight, acrylic on stretched linen, 30 x 30cm, est. £80 (+fees)

Dylan Leddington and Ady Raj are both second year students studying for a BA in Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth, and they have each submitted three works to the forthcoming Dorset Art Weeks auction. Their approach to their art and its subject matter is highly individual, however, they came together in 2019 to set up the Neo Salvation Artist Collective: a forum for the artistic expression of activism, ranging from equality and human well being to sustainable development.

Dylan Leddington, The Last Light, 120 x 80cm, est. £100 (+fees)

Dylan Leddington was born in Poole, and although he did not grow up in Dorset it was logical for him to study at AUB given the accessibility of the countryside from Bournemouth and the tremendous range of natural scenery in the county. Dylan initially captures landscapes either through photography or by drawing and invariably works in oil to produce his final piece. He favours painting and drawing given the wealth of learning available from the enormous number of works created in these media over many centuries. His pieces depict future landscapes and settings, devoid of human presence, prompting us to ask what happened, and why; followed soon after by the sharp reality of the perilous state of our planet’s ecology. As Dylan moves from photography to drawing to painting, so the surface changes – digital, to paper and finally canvas. Stretched canvas over a frame produces an actual object, with its own physical presence and impact for the viewer. Dylan’s use of fantastical, vibrant colours creates the sense that his imagery is not from the here and now, and increasingly he looks to science fiction as a route to helping us consider our relationship with technology.

Ady Raj, Bindi, oil over acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150cm, est. £400 (+fees)

Ady Raj was drawn to study in Bournemouth through the significant connections he made with AUB’s tutors during his online interview. Looking back, he now cannot contemplate how London could have  provided the creative backdrop necessary to his study. Ady’s starting point comes from deep within – from the sub-conscious, wonder, mystery and philosophy – and before he creates he meditates. Ady describes producing his work as a physical act, such is the rigour and effort it requires from him. Dorset’s spectacular beaches provide him with the perfect setting for this initial phase of contemplation. He eschews the human figure in his works, feeling it is too restrictive and narrow, whereas abstraction gives the viewer the freedom and space to consider colour at an elemental level, through the eyes and the senses. His own personal activism is a direct retort to the conservative values, censorship and restrictions seen in modern day India; he acknowledges that it is only now, based outside India, that he has access to complete and unbiased accounts of events taking place in his native country.

Dylan Leddington, 3020: A year for curious robots, 30 x 42cm, est. £70 (+fees)

Dylan has used lockdown to develop his sketching techniques and to study perspective whilst Ady has focused on his writing. They value the input of multiple perspectives and pairs of eyes afforded through their shared living space and marvel that works they have produced for the walls of their house all feature the shape of the circle – something they only noticed once the works were displayed together. For Dorset Art Weeks 2020, Dylan and Ady were to have been exhibiting and producing art works at The Crown Hotel, Poole, and they are hopeful that this project might now take place in 2021. Looking further forward to 2022, they have plans to tour India, making art along the way in direct response to on the ground social and economic issues and to compensate for and highlight the dearth of free speech.

Ady Raj, Detail from Unseen II, oil over acrylic on board, 120cm diameter, est. £400 (+fees)