Danny Sumbler’s work is influenced by everything and nothing, but with the aim of offering the viewer a reflection of themselves. Below, Danny answers a few questions about his work and his life as an artist – and musician.
When did your interest in art/creating begin?
I don’t ever remember a separation between myself and expressing through art, even before I could speak. I feel fragmentation is an enemy to human kind. To merge is to find beauty in all, like synaesthesia, of which I have to a degree; so it’s highly possible I was born with paintbrush in hand. The womb is a plentiful thing.
What is your starting point for each piece?
My work is constant; it flows rather than stops and starts. Even when I am not applying a brush to canvas, my higher mind is constantly painting that chaos into a picture, poem or song – creating harmony out of disorder and finding beauty in both. It transmutes things like an alchemist. On the level of putting brush to canvas for the first time though, then expressing it, I tend to zone out. I am overwhelmed by a very powerful meditative kind of state that draws me into it. I am ‘in’ the piece basically. Out of time. Out of mind. The places in between where there are endless possibilities. The real world.
Who/what influences your work?
I wouldn’t say anything specific, but reversing that I would say there is nothing that couldn’t….
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
A reflection of themselves in some way. A call to re-claim their own sovereignty maybe. Some nice colours on their wall will do for now though.
What do you think about the term outsider art? Is there a term that you think works better?
Outsider is fine if it remains sincere. However, the more things are labelled I feel the more mainstream they can become. There is nothing wrong with that however, like alternative news; if it has truth it should become our mainstream news rather than the prescribed measure we are fed, because it is unadulterated.
It’s if it becomes contrived it will lose it’s essence. There have been artists who have tried to be abstract, tried to be alternative and I can tell because the work has no soul; I can feel it. Because they tried, it wasn’t natural. They tried to possess it rather than let it seduce and intoxicate them. If it remains true then I don’t care what people call it. I do feel however because it is like fringe science, it is important as it is from a different perspective, one that cannot be over analysed because when you pull things to pieces they die and the magic goes away.
You do not place your fingers on the wings of a butterfly as its beauty is untouchable, as is art. It is also more precious when finding your own way to such beauty, otherwise it’s turned into a fashion and as a consequence we get people walking around who look hideous in its clothing and we can’t have that;they are usually the ones who talk much and say little. You are either a natural or you are not.
Not everything can be taught so go find what you excel at and love it. I am not about to throw on a pair of skis and lycra just because there is a flutter of snow that’s for sure.
What are you working on at the moment?
Other than myself, which with Tourettes is always a comedy, whilst recording a new album of songs I am looking at three primed boards at present and seeing what manifests. I tend to let my work paint itself; the supernatural is always close by.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
The moment is always the only thing we have – so I have no idea what my tomorrows may bring. Plus we are all ever-changing, or should be, so my moods and any absolutes are transient so will have changed by the time I get there. I can only wish for my next moments to be as creative as these. I wouldn’t mind a glass of wine later though – that’s about as far as I wish to look for now. Bathe me in simplicity until then, you Gods – and let me share what I have with those less fortunate along the way. For what else is there, if not that?