School of Art
Tony Heward6 December 1999 – 14 January 2000
Artist's StatementMy work is based on religious subject matter and many themes are drawn from the bible. It is narrative and its aim is to provide a comment on the human condition as well as reflecting on the nature of religious experience. I intend my work to be moving, compassionate, accessible and open to many interpretations. Sometimes it speaks uncomfortable truths. It does not try to redefine what is meant by 'art', or challenge existing notions of aesthetics.Nor does it provide a polite decorative backdrop.
One theme that has haunted me is the story of Lazarus. For me this has mythic dimensions relating to death and rebirth, decay and regeneration, ordeal and deliverance. I first became interested in and moved by this subject as a result of reading Primo Levi's account of his survival of the Holocaust.
The overriding theme in the Lazarus series is that of change - the pain and above all the joy of change. This theme also appears in other works; change – in the sense of renewal – underlies my interpretations of the Baptism, Dante's selva oscura (dark wood) and other subjects. It may not be apparent at first but underlying my work is a feeling of hope and optimism. Renewal may be preceded by pain but in the end renewal triumphs.
I work in graphic media. In the drawings I have used charcoal, conte and pencil. In the collographs and I have used glues, varnishes and other DIY materials together with materials such as leaves, moss, straw, cloth and sand to create the tones and textures that I wanted. The monoprints use low-tech methods and were mostly printed on a table top at home.