Michael Jarvis


About me

Michael’s practice is informed by a multiplicity of approaches to painting, primarily the need to reiterate the importance of painting’s material and physical characteristics against a context of a predominately digital mediation of contemporary life. Recently, Michael has made paintings which are prompted by his travelling through urban spaces, for example in Newcastle, Copenhagen and Berlin.
During my 2018 residency in Berlin I was struck by how the experience of finding one’s way around an unfamiliar place could be a metaphor for the practice of painting where one is constantly having to begin again after losing one’s way, always trying to work out a new direction when one is lost. The paradox of ‘losing one’s way’ can be a necessary prerequisite to finding significance in the world, in people, places and things. The painter similarly engages upon a search for something which might be lost or inaccessible to the immediate memory. In Berlin I explored a Jewish graveyard and was able to use that experience as the basis for a series of drawings and paintings which evoke the iconography of the site with its atmospheric pathways, stones and markings. This experience continues to nourish my everyday thinking and practice.


Newcastle, England.


Breeze Creatives, Bamburgh House, Market Street East, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH. My studio here is open to members of the public by appointment with me.


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Certificate of Education, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts (Art Education), Master of Arts (Fine Art), Doctor of Philosophy (Fine Arts)



Painter in Oils primarily, although I have extensive experience of using acrylics and watercolour. I also use collage a lot for smaller studies and occasionally in my larger paintings. I also like to use oil stick with conventional oil paint.



I draw inspiration from the perception of the world around me, from nature as well as the urban environment. I have made work throughout my career which is based upon my observations of the natural world, for example water, cloud, seascapes, hills and mountains but latterly have focussed more on the experience of moving through an ever-changing urban environment, specifically Berlin, Copenhagen and Newcastle. I also take inspiration from written texts, for example the poetry of Seamus Heaney or TS Eliot.


Current exhibitions/projects:

People’s Theatre (October- November 2020)
Other exhibitions & projects are being planned.

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