The very zen like Heath Newman’s mantra when it comes to creating his mostly recycled installations is that “Wood is good. Wood is ancient”. A graduate of Sydney College of Fine Arts, Newman has been working on his incredible colour based aesthetic rigorously since relocating to New York and can be found most days in his Brooklyn studio or looking for raw materials for his works.
Having traveled India extensively over the last few years, Newman continues to be inspired by his environment and with his intense blue eyes and long locks, he certainly is one free thinking soul who’s outlook on life has a profound effect on those who experience it through his art.
Heath Ian Newman
WHERE ARE YOU AS YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
In my apartment in Brooklyn, New York.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR ART AND WHAT YOU CREATE:
I create illusions, perception based paintings and light installations. They are constructed entirely by hand, and influenced strongly by indigenous textiles, interactions of colour and raw natural materials.
WHAT ELEMENTS DO YOU NEED TO COME TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH IDEAS AND BE COMFORTABLE TO CREATE?
To be honest, I feel sometimes like creativity is being channeled through me, you know, like I’m separate from the experience. I’ll get a feeling, it will build, eventually it will resolve as an image in my head and I will put it onto paper. Then when I make the work a lot of the time its super methodical and meditative, so I end up giving way to that feeling again and creating some very different to the original idea, but always a similar style and finish.
ALL I NEED IS:
A Coconut! You can literally survive on coconut, that’s all I need.
SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME IS…
I was the Australian Yo-Yo champion of 1996
I GET INSPIRATION FROM:
The sky, indigenous textiles, hues of daylight interacting with surfaces, Danish furniture, sign writing designs of India and geometry
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO:
John Lee Hooker: Alternative Boogie. Seriously!
FAVOURITE CONTEMPORARY ARTIST?
Wolfgang Laib. He just seems like the zen-ist character creating such beautiful things, so simply and so richly.
FAVOURITE CLASSIC ARTIST?
Hieronymus Bosch, he seems like he would be a cool guy to have over for dinner!
I would have to say Allan Watts, he seemed like he was pretty onto it. I’d like to say we think alike or at least I’ve learnt a lot from him.
QUOTE THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU:
“There’s only one instant, and it’s right now. And it’s eternity.” – That quote describes my outlook on life pretty accurately.
Corpse Reviver Number 2
WHEN I AM GONE I WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR:
Being buried in a suit made from mushroom spores that will absorb the toxins in my body and turn me into edible mushrooms. Check it out!
IF I WASN’T AN ARTIST I WOULD LIKE TO BE…. An ant in the desert, so many beautiful colors and forms from that perspective.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH I … check skyscanner for the cheapest flights out of JFK.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE? When I work out what I want to do with my life, I’ll let you know when it was that I decided on it.
Heath wears Maison Martin Margiela for H&M suit. APC shirt. His own Dr Martens and jewellery.
Photographed by Adrian Mesko. Styled by Ilona Hamer
Heath Newman’s tumblr