Spotlight: Dr Paul Harvey

In the spotlight with Dr Paul Harvey – Lecturer in Art & Design at Queen Alex

Dr Paul Harvey is a Lecturer in Art & Design at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, having moved to Whitley Bay, in the North East of England from London. He moved up in 1986 and started teaching in 1987, so he has been here for 33 years.

Notable Achievements & Career Highlights:

In 2001, Paul founded the Newcastle Stuckists, Stuckism, a worldwide contemporary art movement, in which he remains actively involved.

He is an internationally renowned painter, and his impressive CV includes a hugely successful solo show of his paintings in Opava, Czech Republic in 2015 entitled “We are living in Paradise”. In the summer of 2016, Paul was offered another solo show at the prestigious Černá Labuť gallery in Prague entitled “From London to the Czech avant-garde” which led to it being exhibited in Turin, at Studio Gebbia Bortolotto.

Other venues to have displayed Paul’s work include Edinburgh’s College of Art, the Walker and Lady Lever Galleries in Liverpool, a residency at Wallington House in Northumberland, and various other galleries in European cities including London & Paris.

Did you know?

In 2012, his work was featured as part of an exam question in the Critical and Contextual Studies section of the January Art A Level paper in the UK. The exam question revolved around the controversial removal of Paul’s painting of Charles Saatchi from the window of the Artspace Gallery in Mayfair, London.

The reason given for the removal of the painting was that it was considered ‘too controversial for the area.’  This painting is now on show at the Queen Alex campus.

Paul, tell us about your style & influences:

I tend to document what is around me and things that happen, which leads to a strong autobiographical element in my work. Mountain landscapes have also featured prominently for many years, tracing back to a trip I made to Switzerland as a schoolboy in 1973. In the summer of 2017, when I was working as an artist in residency at the cultural centre areacreativa42 in Rivarolo Canavese, Italy, and with the Alps for the horizon, it felt like I was working inside one of my paintings, which was surreal. It is in these types of environments that I am happy to explore and romanticise, but not at the expense of truth. You may also not know that I play in the UK punk band Penetration - another key influence on my work. There will certainly always be an autobiographical element to my work. However, the important aspect will hopefully be the universal one. Although I am always happy when younger people like my work, I essentially produce work for my own generation. This to me is the punk rock generation. Having said this, you would not have to have had that particular punk experience to identify with the work! The vast majority of the memories and experiences will be shared ones.

What does the future hold?

I am currently working on a long-term painting project entitled “Burning Up Time”. The project itself will hopefully consist of a painting representing every year from 1960 onwards, the was the year I was born. Technically the nature of the “Burning Up Time” project means that it is a never ending one, but I am not going to worry about that aspect just yet. I will let the series develop and see what happens.

Finally, tell us about your role as a Lecturer at Queen Alex:

All of the experience I have gained goes directly into teaching my students. As a practitioner, I can speak from experience rather than just theory, and give them genuine advice on the business side of the Creative Industries. It also shows my students that anyone can achieve if they work hard, as like many of my students, I was the first member of my family to ever go into Higher Education. This is a philosophy I have worked with throughout my teaching career.

If you would like to find out more about our Art & Design Higher Education courses, further information can be found on our website.

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