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In Conversation with... Dafila Scott SWLA

At Pinkfoot, we are passionate about the artists we represent and we believe their work deserves to be enjoyed and appreciated by as many people as possible. With the success of our first 'In conversation with... Thelma Sykes SWLA', we are excited to announce our next, 'In Conversation With...', where we talk to Dafila Scott about her life and work, ahead of her upcoming show at Pinkfoot from 26th March - 9th April, 2022.
Dafila Scott in her Studio

Dafila Scott

Dafila Scott first began drawing at a very early age, encouraged by her father, Sir Peter Scott, also an artist.  She began by observing the different bill patterns of Bewick swans on the pond in front of their house. This observation and attention to detail allowed Dafila to develop her skills in drawing, whilst also igniting a passion and keen interest in wildlife. She initially began her career as a zoologist, where she spent time studying Bewick swans and other waterfowl.

Throughout her career in zoology, she continued to observe and draw wildlife. This led Dafila to illustrate her husband's and colleague's wildlife books, whilst raising two small children. After a successful career in zoology she began studying under Robin Child. Here, Dafila was taught about the works of some of the great 20th century painters, particularly Cezanne and Matisse.

Dafila explains;
"Robin introduced me to a wide range of both 20th and 21st century painters, who inspire my work today. From British Artists such as Keith Vaughan, Paul Nash and Peter Lanyon, to American Abstract Expressionists like Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn. Robin Child is an excellent tutor, and I have been going to paint with him once a year for the past twenty years.".  She is also influenced by some of her female contemporaries; Barbara Rae and Tracy Emin are two Artists working today whose work Dafila highly respects.

When asked what should be included in this article, Dafila immediately said "colour!". Dafila has a passion for colour and is fascinated by the way it can evolve and subsequently change the feeling of a piece. She explains that, as her work has become more abstracted, colour plays a huge role in creating the essence of a place. It's clear to see that Dafila's artistic influences have played a key role in her love of colour, namely Matisse and Cezanne, who paved the way in 20th century modern art.

Throughout her career as a professional artist, Dafila has taken large leaps away from her days accurately drawing in her father's studio, she is now proud to have her own identity in her work. Currently, her work features abstracted landscapes of her favourite places on the edge of the Fens where she enjoys sketching the birds in a nearby wetland, not to mention the North Norfolk coast too. In pre-pandemic times, Dafila would enjoy frequent trips to the Kalahari; she tells us "Before the pandemic, I would regularly go over the the Kalahari with my husband who spends time researching meerkats. I would make the most of the time by taking my sketchbook out with me, and sometimes oil paints to observe the different animals. Although, by 10.30am it is probably too hot to be out in the sun. It's a welcome change to the British weather."
Dafila's Working Process

In order to create her paintings, Dafila first spends time sketching the landscape. She tells us "I always carry an A6 hardback sketchbook with me to jot down sketches of wildlife and landscape. Sometimes the drawing can be only a few lines to represent the landscape, and then I would use this, combined with my memories to create the painting. I go back to my studio and paint in oils, or if I am away, I bring a set of watercolours, so that I can begin the process of creating my painting. There is always a certain point in any picture, where the painting then starts to take on a life of its own, which is where colour plays a huge part along with the abstracted forms to make up the landscape."

Dafila mainly works in oils, combining this with oil pastels, and occasionally using acrylics underneath the painting to utilise their fast drying time. Taking a closer look at her paintings, you will see many complex layers which come together once you step back - her work truly is a feast for the eyes!
Above: Dafila's A6 sketchbooks, examples of how her sketches are worked up to inspire larger paintings
Below: Dafila's Studio
 The Antarctic

If you are familiar with Dafila Scott, you will be aware of her extensive family history in the Antarctic. Dafila is the grand-daughter of Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Antarctic, who was famously the first British explorer to reach the South Pole and explore the Antarctic. He led two expeditions to the South Pole and was a part of a team who discovered the first ever Antarctic fossils. Sadly, during his second expedition in 1912, Captain Scott died on his return from the South Pole, leaving behind a wife and young son; Dafila's father, Sir Peter Scott. Her Grandfather's passion and interest in the natural world, went onto inspire his son to co-found the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This deep-rooted family interest in the natural world led Dafila to be passionate about the environment from a very early age, allowing her to pave her own career in observing wildlife.

Shortly after her Grandfather's second expedition, the Scott Polar Research Institute was founded as a memorial to him and his four companions in 1920. The SPRI has gone onto carry out extensive research in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Dafila has been able to join them in tours to the Antarctic on two occasions, most recently on the Ross Sea Voyage in February 2020, where she was able to observe and record the ever-changing landscapes, wildlife and ice formations. On her return, Dafila spent three months painting from her sketches and memories of her trip to the Antarctic, which have subsequently featured in recent exhibitions across the UK. Dafila's Antarctic paintings illustrate a unique and personal view of the landscape, showing the transantarctic mountains, ice bergs and freezing seas. The physicality of the paint applied, coupled with her masterly use of colour allows you to almost feel the chilling wind on your face and the boat rocking under foot when you stand in front of her paintings.
We are very excited to be showing a few paintings inspired by this trip at Pinkfoot in March 2022. 
Find Out More

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Dafila Scott. If you would like to learn more about Dafila, and view her collection of works with us, please visit our website.

Please email us if you'd like a PDF Catalogue.
Dafila Scott at Pinkfoot Gallery
We are proud to be showing Dafila Scott's recent works at the gallery from 26th March- 9th April, 2022. All works will be available to view online.

Gallery Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 4pm
Dafila in her studio, preparing 'November Hills' for her upcoming exhibition.
As well as Dafila's exhibition, the gallery will be showing other work from the Pinkfoot artists, including works from our impressive sculptors and print-makers. We look forward to seeing you in the gallery.

And to see our latest products from our sister company, Red Hare Publishing Ltd, please click here
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