Pop Artist Colin Self joins Paint Out Norwich events
It is with great pleasure that Paint Out Norwich welcomes the involvement of the well known Norfolk and internationally acclaimed artist Colin Self. Colin was a judge at Paint Out Norwich 2014 and this year he has graciously agreed to be a guest artist at both the Tuesday and Wednesday evening nocturne competition sessions and at the public mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ which is already expecting some 70-80+ artists of all ages and abilities to paint Norwich from the Heath on the Friday afternoon (22 October). Colin envisages basing himself around Norwich Castle for the two nocturne evenings 6.30-9.30pm on 20-21 October.
In 2009, Colin was invited to create a new graduation mace for the Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA, now NUA). Its handle was made to resemble Norfolk reeds to be “reminiscent of this beautiful place,” said Colin.
“We chose Colin to design the mace because he has an international reputation as a fine artist and is an ex-student from the old Norwich School of Art and Design.” – David Girling from NUA
About Colin Self the Artist
Colin Self is a draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and painter. He is best known as a ‘Pop Artist’, whose work addressed the theme of Cold War politics. He studied first at Norwich Art School and in 1961 he entered the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. Artist Richard Hamilton called him:
“the best draughtsman in England since William Blake.”
Whilst at the Slade, he met artists, David Hockney and Peter Blake, who greatly admired Self’s paintings. He went on to become one of the forerunners, along with the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, of the ‘Pop Art’ movement.
In 1962 and 1965 he travelled to the Canada and the USA with David Hockney which heightened his consciousness of Cold War politics. Events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and CND marches led him to create highly-innovative works including a series of drawings that had imminent nuclear destruction as a theme whilst others contained Art Deco cinema interiors or hot dogs.
He also produced works “featuring apparently harmless motifs from contemporary life and consumer society which at times convey an unexpected atmosphere of violence and sexual threat. His intention was to produce a detailed record of his society which, in the event of its destruction, would convey its essential qualities to anyone coming across his work in the future.”
Return to Norwich, Norfolk
In 1965, disillusioned and suspicious of the commercial art world, Self returned permanently to Norwich and spent most of the 1970s in artistic solitiude where Norfolk has been his “spiritual and visual inspiration” which he has portrayed in watercolours, charcoal, and mixed media including a toy cow!
“The landscape in some ways is my visual script. Hidden in there behind the lie of the land is not only my past but the past of everyone, my future and my energy.” – Colin Self, BBC interview
During this time both “his subject matter and his repertoire of techniques continued to expand, taking in atmospheric Norfolk landscapes, still-lifes and quirky observations of human behaviour.”
In the politically charged 1980s he visited the Soviet Union for inspiration returning to produce some surrealist collage works which seem “remarkably prescient in the light of events” such as 9/11, and yet he also created works with humour and a lighter touch.
Since 2000, he has worked on his ‘Odyssey/Iliad’ multiple-plate etchings series aiming to re-tell Homer’s classical story using contemporary images.
He has been exhibited at the Tate Gallery (1995) where several of his works reside in their collections, and Pallant House Gallery (2008).