Having retired from a career in engineering, Derek has launched with gusto into a second career as an abstract artist. Working out of a studio in Harrow, north west London, he produces quirky and unique installations, paintings and collages, many of which combine his artistic and engineering skills. While Derek continues to paint on canvas, he also uses a wide variety of media, and loves to experiment and push boundaries.
Of particular note are his installations which use discarded laughing gas (nitrous oxide) canisters. Laughing gas is widely used as a recreational drug. Derek has a team of 'canister pickers' (both friends and street cleaners) who pick up spent steel canisters from gutters, parks and car parks around London for incorporation into the artwork. So far he has used more than 20,000 canisters, saving more than half a ton of metal from landfill. Derek likes to use strong, contrasting colours and geometry in his art, and seeks maximum visual impact. Much of his work is large and imposing, and lends itself to the corporate environment or the public realm. Derek had his first solo exhibition of canister art in November 2019 at Whitefriars Gallery, Harrow, and continues to find new ways of incorporating the canisters in his latest installations.