Heavily influenced by the art of The Southern School (China/Japan) and Bonsai, Heath Newman draws from the idea of Literati: the scrawl of the drunken monk. Literati is a culture of art formed in China and then Japan notably concerned with ink painting, splashes, calligraphic scrawls and minimalistic plant styling.
This culture of painting and the creation of bonsai were deep in philosophical subtext concerning the art of harmonious involvement with nature. Drawing from this Heath’s work incorporates elements of hesitancy and fragility into the confident physical gestures of abstract expressionism. Combining fragments of still life, myths of the world, strokes, scrawls and colour fields Heath describes his work as a mental map; both of his subconscious and of the greater, deeper collective consciousness. These ideas and the exploration of colour in Heaths work continues to drive his exploration of texture, tone, perception and depth; the arise of colour in the human eye and brain, the appreciation and discrimination of harmony and the confusion and intrigue of visual perception.