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Darren Neave

Sculptor, collector and hoarder. I find it hard to separate life and art, I live in my studio, art and my practice are omni-present.

My practice acknowledges a repatriation into the rural landscape, dealing with compulsive hoarding and collecting. Recognising horror vacui forms the basis for my work, where art and the quotidian collide, creativity arises. 

My work acknowledges elements of ‘Peacocking’ and Display or more accurately - Visual Merchandising (VM) - the notion of  ‘enhancement’, ‘animating’ and ‘transforming’ objects or (branded) products including the discarded and the unloved. Arrangements, displays and the positioning of objects, products and artworks are informed by a knowledge of visual merchandising and product placement. Alluring effects, embellishment and careful adjacency are paramount.

VM is a tool of commercialism, employed by artists such as Johns and Rauschenberg in their early lives, then revisited within their artistic practice. 
I explore the methodologies – both formal and psychological – of display and presentation, borrowing from the languages of the museum, advertising, interior design and retail. 

Consumerism excites and disgusts me - both fuelling my work - questioning and critiquing, but more importantly - it let’s me create mischief and mayhem…

Crepuscular works test visual and sensory perception. There is misinterpretation, little or no clarity, which can inspire mishap and mischief. Other senses need to be bought into play, I have been introducing olfactory elements to enhance and titillate, to add extra layering and meaning. I have been using ways to make olfactory sculptural pieces, ways that ‘enhance’ and add flavour by remixing and representing existing pieces.
  I want to look into approaching galleries to pursue this further, linking other concerns with appropriating existing objects and collections and questioning the necessity of creating "New" objects. There must be be respectful repurposing and thought. Acknowledge artists like Cornelia Parker and Leo Fitzmaurice, with respect to the concepts laid down by Steven Claydon and Simon Starling.

I would also continue with my intrigue into heraldry and notions of branding, as an artist who uses a small but vibrant colour palette, I want to explore the meanings within this recognition and balance outside of my work, and in places out of my control.

I want to make more complicated pieces, combine the enhanced readymade, the acquired or the purchased. I want to look at the spaces within these processes and develop further with my passion for art manufacture and for generating ideas and questioning the reasons why we produce, and do the things we do. I have been looking into PhD proposals, this accolade and award would greatly inspire me.


Darren Neave 


June 1995 – Present


I have always continued to practise as an artist after initially graduating.
I have also mentored and lectured students in art practise at Goldsmiths University, UAL and Central St Martin’s, London and at Leeds College of Art.
My endeavours have provided me with the opportunity to be involved in many curatorial events and special projects. Notable examples are:
Liverpool Walker Art Gallery - Big Art for Little Artists, The first gallery dedicated to children, assisted with a grant from JP Jacobs Charitable Trust and DNCS/Wolfson Foundation Museums Improvement Fund. The Little Artists provided illustrated characters to make an introduction to art for children, alongside educational projects with activity books and art trails. A role which overlapped consultation and maximum creativity.
National Society for Deaf Children - A charity auction event at Christies, involving David Beckham and artruist - a creative corporate art consultancy -
Contemporary Artists play Pictionary - Another charity led initiative involving Mattel and 50 artists including Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn and Mark Wallinger in an hilarious twist on the popular board game. A feat of diplomacy, drive and ambition, meeting with Charity and Mattel directors, PR agents and artists in their studios was a thoroughly rewarding experience. I originally proposed the idea and approached a few artists, then approached Mattel and The National Autistic Society with a formal idea. I collected and curated the works in an East London Gallery ultimately raising several thousand pounds for charity and raising its public profile. Exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable!

The Little Artists/John Cake and Darren Neave Solo Exhibitions

2009 English Lounge, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing
2009 Two of You, Among You, With You, 2021 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
2008 SmurfNet,  Fishmarket, Northampton
2008 Two of You, Among You, With You, TAG Fine Arts / My Life In Art, London 
2007 Hive Gallery, Barnsley
2006 Bumper Bonanza, Hedspace Gallery, Brighton
2006 Big Art, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
2006 Art Crazy Nation, Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan. Poland
2005 Art Craziest Nation, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
2004 Lick Your Selves, Bloc, Sheffield
2004 Crazius Craftus Creativus, The Reliance Gallery, London
2004 Taking a line for a drive, Comme Ca Gallery, Manchester 
2004 Art Crazy Nation, Comme Ca NYC, New York
2003 Art Crazy Nation, Catto Contemporary, London
2002 Not just for Christmas, Comme Ca Gallery, Manchester 
2001 This is Modern Art, Cornerhouse, Manchester
1999 Gavin Turk’s Rubbish, Decima Gallery, London Group Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

2018 Burns Unbroke, Summerhall, Edinburgh
2011 We were young and immortal, Galerie Good Friday, Paris
2009 Auckland Festival, Seed Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2009 Play-time’,  Parcours St-Germain, Paris
2009 Inspired, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow
2008 And the dish ran away with the spoon, Collector’s Contemporary, Singapore
2008 Let’go, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin
2008 Tatton Park Biennial, Tatton Park, Cheshire, curated by Danielle Arnaud 
2007 Deptford X, Various venues in Deptford, London
2007 Situation 33, Bleibtreu Gallery, Berlin
2007 Lego, Space Gallery, Bratislava
2007 Jeux de Mains, jeux de vilains, Good Friday Gallery, Brussels, curated by Christophe Vey
2005 ‘Contemporary Artists Play Pictionary’, The Agency, London
2005 post_modellismus, Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna and Kunsthall, Bergen
2004 Didn’t mean to be bad kids, Warrington Art Gallery and Collins Gallery, Glasgow
2003 Comme Ca Art Prize North Shortlist, Comme Ca Gallery, Manchester 
2003 Thermo 03, The Lowry, Salford
2002 The Collection, Comme Ca Gallery, Manchester
2002 IDEA, Sheffield
1999 Articultural Show, Royal Festival Hall, London

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Liege.

Darren Neave as solo artist

Residency and Exhibition 

2019 PabloBronsteinShrine, General Practise, Lincoln 


November 2018 - Present
Associate Lecturer at The University of Lincoln

May 2004 – Present
Freelance Creative Consultant

My time is divided between my freelance creative retail consultancy and contemporary art practise and curatorial projects. Current clients include The London Transport Museum, The Shard and Transport for London, M and S and numerous independent retailers across the UK.
I have decided to use my talents in a different and unique way to further develop my creative, commercial and diplomatic skills in a consumer related arena. 
Each client has very different requirements, unique engagement and dialogue is paramount in pinpointing what is needed to be successful and how this is achieved. My enthusiastic and personal approach has always ensured a trusting working relationship. 
Lots of energy and team involvement made the process a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 
I contribute in meetings and buying trips, alongside the online and retail teams and the marketing departments. My input to the future development of the museum shop is highly valued.

October 2005 – November 2011
Tate Enterprises, Tate Modern, London - Supervisor/Visual Display
I worked part-time in the retail arm of the Tate Brand, a bustling modern art gallery with 3 shops.
My everyday duties included managing around 70 staff and transcending the Tate Brand with excellent customer service and visitor experience.
I brought my strong visual and commercial retail background to the gallery shops. My flexibility and flair allowed me to be involved in all new exhibition shop layouts, stock management and dealing with curators and other gallery officials.


Sep 2020 - Sep 2021 Royal College of Art, MRes

Sep 2017 - Sep 2018 University of Lincoln, MA Fine Art - Distinction
Sep 1992 - June 1995 Leeds University - Bretton Hall College BA Hons, Fine Art 2:1
Sep 1991 - June 1992 Lincoln College of Art and Design B-tec ND in Art and Design (Merit)

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Artist Spotlight: Darren Neave

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