Heath Newman

Heath Newman is a multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Melbourne. After graduating from Sydney College of the Arts in 2011, his inspiration drove him to India where he spent two years learning painting techniques and colour studies from a culture rich in its visual and philosophical arts. Following India his travels and explorations of visual culture took him across the East through Sri Lanka, Laos, China and Vietnam where he became deeply interested in the art of scroll painting and the Zen attitudes undertaken to create them. Finally, Heath moved to New York where he lived, worked and exhibited for over a year. Prior to returning to Melbourne, Heath has been living in Byron Bay learning the art of alchemy through herbs of Chinese Medicine and cultivating relationships between the human body, psyche and the natural environment.

Artist Statement

Heavily influenced by the art of The Southern School (China/Japan) and Bonsai which Newman learned from his father; he draws from the idea of Literati: the scrawl of the drunken monk. Literati is a culture of art formed in China and then Japan notably concerned with ink painting, splashes, calligraphic scrawls and minimalistic plant styling (bonsai.) This culture of painting and the creation of bonsai were deep in philosophical subtext concerning the art of harmonious involvement with nature. Drawing from this Newman’s work incorporates elements of hesitancy and fragility into the confident physical gestures of abstract expressionism. Combining fragments of still life, myths of the world, strokes, scrawls and colour fields Heath describes his work as a mental map; both of his subconscious and of the greater, deeper collective consciousness. These ideas and the exploration of colour in Heaths work continues to drive his exploration of texture, tone, perception and depth; the arise of colour in the human eye and brain, the appreciation and discrimination of harmony and the confusion and intrigue of visual perception.