J O N A T H A N N E W D I C K
Jonathan Newdick was born in Newbury in 1948, and was brought up in rural communities in the South of England.
In 1971 he graduated from The West Sussex College of Art and started his career as a designer in Fleet Street. However, in 1974 he left London and returned to the countryside in Sussex, where he worked as a freelance book typographer, soon establishing a reputation as a classical yet modernist book designer both in the UK and in the USA.
During this time, he also worked as a visiting lecturer at the London College of Printing, alongside working as an illustrator for books and magazines, and continuing to draw landscapes. His diverse work-load led to him becoming the subject of a feature length documentary produced by Spanish network television in the early 1980s.
In 1990 he was awarded a Master's Degree in the Cultural and Critical Theory of British Art from the University of Sussex. After this, he felt the time was right to turn from designing to drawing and printmaking.
He has since had a number of exhibitions both in the UK and in Italy, including at the Barbican, London; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; San Tommaso, Venice, and Alpha House Gallery, Sherbourne.
He was also the Artist in Residence at Petworth House (The National Trust) in the late 1990s, where he spent a full year on the estate, often working on large-scale pieces in the fields.
In 2011, he began to work on a set of pencil drawings which can be seen as a continuation of the work of the 'Recording Britain' scheme of the second world war. Initially the project was limited to 65 drawings of barns and farm buildings of the Leconfield Estate in Sussex, which appeared to be under threat from development. These were exhibited in Petworth House and elsewhere, and collected in a limited edition book (LP: Leconfield Petworth).
The exercise has since developed beyond the Leconfield Estate and in 2012 Newdick published Out of Time? which includes the complete set of drawings of barns and outbuildings, plus some others, each accompanied by his own poetic texts.
In his studio at the edge of a field in West Sussex, he now works in a variety of media, but it is almost invariably on paper, and he has always described it as 'drawing'. One of his current projects is Following Constable, a contemporary revisiting of the locations where John Constable made his paintings and drawings; he aims to publish this project in a book.
His artworks can be found in both private and public collections throughout Europe and the USA, as well as here at Kevis House Gallery.
To end, a quote from Andrew Loukes, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at Petworth House, and formerly Curator of Fine Art at Manchester Art Gallery, which summarises Newdick's work:
"Jonathan Newdick is an artist who deserves to be better known. Based in Petworth, he is consistently attracted to the surrounding landscape - although his art frequently extends into other areas, both geographical and thematic. All of Newdick's work blends an obvious technical ability - whether his trademark skills of draughtsmanship or his bold use of print media - with an intelligent insight into his subject matter. Unsurprisingly, he is someone with an informed interest in the great artists who have trodden his patch - Turner and Constable - yet his drawing style, in particular, is uniquely his own. Like his major forebears, though, he is a thoughtful interpreter of landscape, with the passing of time emerging as a consistent theme in his work. Fittingly, he has worked on a number of projects in connection with Petworth House, which holds the National Trust's most important art collection, and is an artist whose work is both instantly engaging and resonant with meaning. Petworth is lucky to have him."