COVID-19 Updates: For advice and updates for staff, students, and applicants who may have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak please visit our Situation Updates page.

Research Profile

Mr Michael

Senior Lecturer - Painting

Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

  • 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 Senior Lecturer in painting at the University of Northampton. He teaches on both our undergraduate courses, BA Fine Art and BA Painting and Drawing and also on our MA Fine Art course. He is interested in painting not only as a specific discipline but also in the interaction it can have with other fine art disciplines and with the broader potential of painting to engage with areas of knowledge that lie beyond fine art.

  • My earlier research in painting was landscape-based and later moved from a representational approach to a process-based form of abstraction, which explored broader concepts of nature and its structures and processes rather than specific geographical locations.

    Michael’s more recent research has explored the spiritual or transcendental possibilities for contemporary abstract painting and, if still possible, how these may now be achieved. This has involved areas of thought ranging from negative theology and apophasis, to psychology and varying theories of the unconscious, he has explored contemporary abstract painting and its relevance within the realms of transcendental/depth experience. His paper “The Abstract Unconscious” (2009) delivered in San Francisco at the Image and Psyche conference, explored depth experience in contemporary abstract painting, investigating reasons for a decline in abstract painting dealing with transcendental modes of experience. This also led to a collaborative exhibition The Abstract Unconscious and an accompanying interview, “The Vital Image” (2009), which further extended these debates.

    Other aspects of Michael’s research include a joint exhibition, Grey Matters (2009), which explored tensions between the handmade and the technological surface. Primarily using monochrome images, this research investigated differences and similarities emerging from the juxtaposition of paintings and digital prints. These images deliberately reversed expectations concerning the handmade and the mechanically reproduced. This was further explored in a series of group exhibitions entitled Viewfinder and also in a paper (e-published) “From the emptiness of representation to the representation of emptiness”, delivered at the Land/Water Research Symposium at the University of Plymouth.

    His most recent research has seen the publication of his essay “Out of Nothing”, which was published in the book Contemplations of the Spiritual in Art (2013) and explores the role of the unknowable within contemporary art and thought.

    Michael’s PhD thesis, entitled “Contemporary abstract painting and spiritual experience: an investigation through practice” asks if transcendental or spiritual experience in abstract painting can be maintained in the postmodern era. This has involved exploring avenues of painting that involve technology as one method of painting locating itself in a contemporary context alongside an on-going exploration of the remaining possibilities for what may be termed transcendental abstraction.

  • Jump to: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005



    • Parker, D. and Evans, M. (2012) Drawing and the unconscious: a practical workshop in imagination and free association. Workshop presented to: 4th International Joint Conference of the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS) and the International Association for Analytic Psychology (IAAP): Jung’s Analytical Psychology in Conversation with a Changing World, University of Braga, Portugal, 18-21 July 2012. (Unpublished)
    • Evans, M., Love, J., Brook, L., Devison, N., Dimsdale, E., Shaw, M. and Black, T. (2012) [No title]. Exhibit at: Viewfinder. Avenue Gallery, The University of Northampton, 29 April – 24 May 2012.


    • Parker, D., Bacon, J. and Evans, M. (2011) Enchantment: contemporary arts and depth experience. Panel Presentation presented to: Enchantment & Disenchantment: The Psyche in Transformation: Regional Conference of the International Association for Jungian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK, 15-16 July 2011. (Unpublished)
    • Evans, M. (2011) New possibilities for contemporary abstract painting. Paper presented to: Digital Hybridity, University of Derby, 17 June 2011. (Unpublished)
    • Evans, M. (2011) [No title]. Exhibit at: Viewfinder. Artspace H Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, 22 June – 05 July 2011. Also exhibited at: Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 09-24 November 2011




    • Evans, M. (2008) Art & psyche. Paper presented to: Art & Psyche : Reflections on Image, Jung Institute, San Francisco, 1-4 May 2008. (Unpublished)
    • Evans, M., Harper, J., Langford, A. W. and Stedman, N. (2008) Common Ground. Exhibit at: Common Ground. Rhyl Museum & Art Gallery, 10 May – 7 June 2008.
    • Evans, M. and Parker, D. (2008) The Abstract Unconscious. Exhibit at: The Abstract Unconscious. Avenue Gallery, The University of Northampton, 2008.


    • Evans, M. (2007) New Works. Exhibit at: Painting, Technology and Transcendent in POMO Culture.
    • Evans, M. and Parker, D. (2007) The Abstract Unconscious. Gallery 103, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education, Wrexham, 29 October – 15 November 2007.



    • Harper, J., Langford, A. W., Evans, M. and Stedman, N. (2005) Common Ground. Exhibit at: Common Ground. Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, 6 September – 30 October 2005.
    • Evans, M. (2005) Recent Paintings within ‘Common Ground’. Exhibit at: Common Ground. Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, 06 September 2005 – 30 October 2005.
    • Evans, M. and Hill, P. J. (2005) When Science Meets Art. Exhibit at: When Science Meets Art. Wrexham Art Gallery and Museum, 12 March – 23 April 2005.
    This list was generated from NECTAR on Sat Apr 4 17:10:14 2020 BST.