Stephen Newton

5th October - 20th October

Main Gallery

However long you may live, painting never gets less paradoxical. I finished a painting last year of a room with a picture of a young girl on the wall, a sideboard and a window with seagulls flying past. It was called ‘Seagulls Flying past a Window’. The New York critic Donald Kuspit wrote that the young girl in the picture on the wall was the Virgin Mary and that the seagulls were her angels and the sideboard an altar. Could this possibly be true ? Who knows, but it certainly didn’t enter my mind consciously. In another painting: ‘Room with a Rural View’ there are two windows through which you can see a cow and a dead tree; then there is a lamp hanging from the ceiling and a table. Kuspit said that these represented ‘Hadean Symbols of myself’. Again, nothing of the sort was in my conscious awareness, but in a really strange way I can see that these elements really are sinister unconscious symbols of myself.

Things happen in painting that you can’t plan or foresee. For a painting to be authentic and distil real emotion and force, it has to be largely unconscious. Not the unconscious of dreams or cliched Surrealism, but of a much deeper and more complex unconsciousness, located, as in music and poetry, within its abstract formal language.

Painting today is really a lost art. 99% is illustration, particularly the illustration of a preconceived idea, craft,decoration, propaganda, occupational therapy, pattern or design. I don’t paint external reality as it can be perceived, I am not an Impressionist or an Expressionist, or a painter of memories or dreams. It takes a long time to access a deep unconsciousness which can evolve authentic personal symbolism which can potentially resonate also with others. Within me this has long been an irresistible force.

Stephen Newton


This exhibition is on show from 5th October – 20th October 2018.

The private view is on Thursday 11th October 2018 from 6.30 – 8.30pm.