Conversation with upcoming Jamaican sculptor, Dvane Cunningham

This week we have a conversation with a young upcoming Jamaican sculptor, Dvane Cunningham. The past student of Spanish Town High School has won several visual arts awards including from the JCDC and Spanish Town Homecoming. His impress sculptures make him one to watch in the future.

When did you know being a sculptor was your calling?
I was initially interested in drawing and drew every time I got the chance, then I came across clay and played around with it for a while and realized that l loved it, this was about the age of 13 or 14 and from then till today I have not parted ways with it.

Tell us about your work?
My pieces are what I would call a spur of the moment, ideas come naturally, and not just any idea. I like to make things that I’ve never seen before, think way out of the box all in an effort to get the attention of the average person. So my ceramic and sculpture pieces must have a meaning and each individual should be able to relate to them some way or the other.

What is the title of the piece we saw with all the ladies reaching for the sky? What inspired the piece?
The title of the piece with the ladies reaching for the sky as you put it is called the Masochist and it tells the story of women who are suffering physical pain or humiliation, but they like it and they reach to the skies glorifying this pain. This piece was inspired by an article I read on masochism and while reading this article the idea for the piece flashed before my eyes and I just executed it.

What is your favorite material to use in your sculptures?
My favorite material to use for my pieces is clay, it’s easier to manipulate and I feel comfortable working with it.

How do you choose the subjects you are going to sculpture?
My sculpture or ceramic pieces normally start off as rough sketches in my sketch book and then I eliminate the ideas that I think come across as ordinary and then I just start working.

If I was to commission a piece from you, what are the steps we would go through to do that?
If you were to commission a piece from me, firstly I would like to know what kind of art are you interested in whether its abstract, realist etc. then we would go through colours and that sort a thing then I get started.

If you were to be commissioned for a large outdoor work in Ceramics, what would be your dream piece?
A large outdoor ceramic piece……..I never actually thought about doing a large scale piece but I would have to say something that is associated with wild life would be most appropriate.

What is the advice you were ever given when you started to sculpture?
I was never given any advice when I initially started ceramics; I guess the people in my surrounding realized that I had a gift in a sense where it was concerned so I was left to do what I wanted basically.

What playing on your mp3 player right now?
Ok so the music on my mp3 player varies because I listen to quite a few artists like Adele, Sia, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj.

The thing people would be most surprised about me is…
The thing people would be most surprised to know about me…….I am terrified of public speeches. So I’m a shy person at times but if I’m caught in a situation where I have to then I will do my best to not stumble over my words and just get it done and over with.