Newdigate, John (1968-)

Artwork by John Newdigate

John Newdigate grew up in Cape Town and has worked as a professional artist and ceramist since 1991. His latest body of masterfully painted porcelain vessels are a lively exploration of colour and pattern inspired by his environment.

Using the image of the garden Newdigate explores our relationship to nature and how gardens represent our constant struggle to create benign, controlled pockets of the natural world in the midst of suburbia. For Newdigate, this desire to construct and an artificial version of nature acts as a metaphor

for our constant desire to control the ways in which we are perceived by others. Playing with contrasting graphic elements, examining the relationship between sharp and fuzzy lines, randomness and structure, Newdigate continues to explore the possibilities of abstract design on the surfaces of his functional ceramic vessels.

Other recurring themes in his work include the interplay of light and water; atmospheric renderings of the man-made and natural landscape near his home in Swellendam at the foot of Langeberg mountains; as well as imaginatively exuberant plant, bird and animal motifs that are often a wry commentary on human interactions with the natural world. His work is represented in important South African public collections and private collections around the world.