Paul Sewter grew up in the south of England and was educated at Dr. Challenors Grammar School where he achieved A grades at GCSE and A-Level Art. Working predominantly in the medium of painting, Sewter used traditional media until he became interested in using a stylus and computer to paint whilst studying for a masters degree, which he achieved with distinction from Camberwell College, University of the Arts, London. Unavailable for sale until 2013*, Sewter began showing his work for the first time in Wellington that year. Sewter has presented his work in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, including one man shows on top of mountain peaks as part of an ongoing performance Art work called ‘The Myth of the Sisyphean Artist’. Sewter lives in the South Island of New Zealand.
*visit ‘#7/11 Project’ page to find out why
Sewter’s fascination with the crossroads between visual and written culture goes all the way back to school, where he first took inspiration for a mixed media painting from an Oscar Wilde poem. Later, whilst still using traditional media Sewter became interested in the possibilities for text in Art – a development that can be traced through the Archive. ‘So much of how we understand the world is done with words and pictures’ he says, ‘Its what happens when they come together that interests me’. It was at Camberwell that Sewter began to ask questions about the computer, and what it might mean for the modern Artist; “I started wondering what a painter could do with new technology” he says, “and so I set myself the task of finding out if there was any such thing as the ‘Digital Painterly’”. A break-through came during and after the making of ‘Browser Window Sunset’, which contained screen shots and simulated Oil brushes. “I didn’t like the faux effect of the pre-packaged brushes so I started making my own out of text” says Sewter. Writing into painting. Painting into writing. Whether using his own words or those of lore, Sewter synthesises a uniquely modern aesthetic, to reveal something of how the world appears to a painter looking at life through the lens of a Digital Culture.