Daisy Laing


Planet Caravan Continues

Planet Caravan
Welcome to ‘Planet Caravan’, the imaginative world of the artist known as Dooomed, who has parked his creative mobile home on the first floor gallery of Daisy Laing Gallery, Chapel Street, Penzance, with a show that runs through March and into April 2020. 
Although he contributed to the group show ‘Friend of a Friend’ at PZ gallery last year, this fresh and intimate collection is Dooomed’s first solo exhibition. It’s the product of five months living and working in a small caravan high on the Penwith moors, where he has been, “exploring the ideas of play, solitude and nature through the mediums of painting, illustration and writings.”  A square of red tape on the gallery floor marks out the size of his workspace, but that hasn’t hindered his productivity.  Instead he’s responded to the limitations he’s set himself and put together an exhibition that is bursting with energy and ideas.  He’s created a personal visual language starring his nonhuman neighbours at the caravan; the frogs, snails, foxes, rabbits and above all the pheasants who populate his imaginative world.  “Spending virtually all my days in my own company has allowed me to fragment different parts of myself and create a new world around me.”
The rawness and naïveté of Dooomed's work means that it's tempting to pigeonhole him as an outsider artist, but while he may not have an art school background, his work has been creating a buzz  on social media for some time and there's a sense of an artist with ambition. In pieces like ‘The Legend of the White Pheasant’ Dooomed shows an accomplished sense of scale, design and confidence.
With so many of his furry and feathered friends on display the show could be slightly twee, but a black humour undercuts any unwanted cuteness and an examination of his accompanying notebooks and statements reveal a darker, self-revelatory edge, which hints at a greater depth to the work.  'Planet Caravan' might be Dooomed’s rural idyll, an escape into himself, but in doing so he’s also confronting some dark and lonely fears, and is inviting the viewer to find something of themselves in his imaginary world.  As he says, “we are all alone, but we do not have to be lonely.” 
The result is one of the freshest and most exciting shows around, and Daisy Laing Gallery continues to be a home for challenging and thought provoking work in Penwith. For a first solo show, it’s an impressive and confident debut.  If the artist’s work is able to mature and find greater depth, then Dooomed should be one to watch.