Preview: Hawthorn; The Lil Journey @ ARC, Stockton | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Painter and mixed media artist Michael Colwill make a return to art in June 2020 after thirty years inactive and since November 2020 has had his work exhibited in five galleries which has led to his first one-man show at ARC Stockton.

The former miner and Art & Technology teacher, and current studio holder in Dundas House with Navigator North paints surreal landscapes, many of which use his childhood stomping grounds of Hawthorne Dene and Easington Colliery coast as a starting point and feature a mysterious heart shape of unknown origin which insinuates itself into his work. 

Michael adds, “My work is grounded in landscape taken from elements of a small journey around Hawthorne Dene and Easington Colliery coast where I used to play as a child. The dene was a special place for me, a place of security and refuge from an abusive father. I use the drawings and photographs I created during my BA (Hons) based on the journey to Hawthorn dene and used them to help compose my work. Opposites such as hard edge, soft edge, near and far, in focus out of focus, curves and straights, thick and thin areas, touching almost touching are important to my work which helps create a tension across the piece. I use multiple layers which I build up and wash off at points of drying which leaves a history of what has gone before rather like the land being worn away by the elements and brings an important element of chance to the work.”

His exhibition, Hawthorn; The Lil Journey, takes place until Saturday 28th May. Entry is free.

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