Michael was born and grew up in Rhyl, North Wales. He graduated with First-Class Honours from Coventry University in 1987 (then Lanchester) and went on to complete his MA at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1991-1992. In 2013 he completed his PhD at London Metropolitan University, entitled Contemporary abstract painting and spiritual experience: an investigation through practice. Michael’s practice has always been predominately within the discipline of painting, although more recently he has also worked with digital print/photography and digital video.
Michael is a practicing painter and the programme leader for BA (hons) Painting and Drawing degree, teaching across all levels of the course. In addition to this Michael teaches on the BA Fine Art degree course, the MA Fine Art programme and also supervises PhD students.
Michael is interested in the possibilities for painting in a contemporary world largely dominated by technology, specifically digital technology. His research is an ongoing exploration of how painting may be altered by such a dialogue when used in conjunction with technology and also what it may offer as an alternative.
In Michael’s largely process-based paintings he is interested in exploring both authorship and detachment alongside a deeper alchemical engagement with the substance of paint. Recently Michael has begun using microscopes to create digital microscopic watercolours which explore the structure and nature of paint itself, moving between pigment and pixel.
Michael has also had a long-standing interested in how and if abstract painting can still explore or reference types of spiritual experience within a largely atheistic culture. To this end Michael explores the need for new approaches in contemporary abstract painting which use a language of doubt described through terms such as the unknowable.
- PhD from London Metropolitan University titled Contemporary Abstract Painting and Spiritual Experience (subsequently cited on the artist Gerhard Richter’s website).
- Exhibited and presented both nationally and internationally at Cornell University, Braga University, San Francisco Psyche & Image (Art & Psyche/ARAS) conference and the University of Granada,
- International Conference of Religion and Spirituality in Society (2019) I gave a paper titled Contemporary Painting, Negative Theology and Apophasis (publication to follow).
- Numerous essays and articles published including the essays Out of Nothing in Contemplations of the Spiritual in Art (2013) and An Aesthetic of the Unknown in the International Journal of Jungian Studies (2015).
- Taken part in exhibitions such as The Vital Image LMU Bank gallery (London, 2014) and exhibited and presented at the Painting, Drawing and the Digital symposium at the University of Northampton (2017).
- Presented a paper titled Painting, Photography and the Digital: Experiences of Self, Authorship and Otherness for the PhotographyDigitalPainting symposium at the University of Derby (2019 publication to follow).