Don Service comes from a family of makers, a tradition that has informed his artistic path as he shifts between approaches, processes and materials. Inspired by the creative and practical activities of his parents, Service has made a career using his hands and imagination as an artist, designer and technician for nearly two decades. Based in Ōtautahi Christchurch but born in Central Otago, Service draws on various experiences and environments in his practice.
The artist’s work, springing forth from drawings in notebooks, is realised through a range of technical means, often hand-rendered over time with intricate and balanced detail. Service’s creations are inspired by the natural world, from the microscopic to the massive, his clean, organic and tactile forms echo the precision of nature’s design. This relationship is further emphasised by his embrace of the distinct qualities of the various woods, metals, resins, zinc primers and enamels employed, the quirks, challenges and possibilities as important as the initial design concept. In particular, the artist is fascinated by the ability to wrangle the underlaying structures and to allow for chance, such as his experiments with rusting steel, where colours and textures evolve through the effects of time and elemental forces and the artist surrenders control.
With his inquisitive nature and willingness to explore technical approaches, Service exemplifies the artist as craftsman, inspired by the natural world and the act of making.