Michael Porter

Honorary Member

I am currently working on the description of landscape emphasising both the literal and the experiential, using, what might be seen today as the traditional flat image /images.

My work for many years has involved the collecting of photographic source material which is subsequently used as an aide memoire in order to bring the experience, as directly as possible, back the studio.

The paintings produced are developed as a reaction to and an analysis of these photographic records and the accumulated knowledge from a specific location through continuous contact over many years, this memory of place is a significant contributor to the overall description.

It is also evident when looking at the work that materiality plays a large part in both the execution and interpretation. The natural inherent characteristics of the ground on which the work is painted and the materials used to the create the work are emphasised in order to describe the natural subject matter. Traditionally the landscape artist has relied on two interpretative factors.

1 The intention, which is often linked to the conceptualisation of the work

2 The execution, the practical methods of realisation, often linked to the dexterity of the artist. I combine these two distinctively different descriptive elements.

Photography has traditionally been seen as a simple method of capturing reality. Unlike the sketch it is non discriminating and relies primarily on a mechanical process although, even this, has an interpretative standpoint. It also allows for the analysis of time, one is essentially experiencing the frozen moment captured on the printed sheet.

My primary concern at the present time is to investigate the combining of the photographic (mechanical) with the painterly (aesthetic) in such a way that they become visually inseparable whilst retaining their individual characteristics.


  • 1968 – 1971
    • Chelsea School of Art
  • 1971 – 1972
    • Post graduate Chelsea School of Art
  • 1999
    • Honorary Doctorate in Professional Practice

Recent teaching

  • 2004
    • Artist in residence at Cape Ann, Massachusetts, shared between Cape Ann Historical Museum and Montserrat College of Art funded by a major grant from The Arts Council

Indicative Publications

  • 2001
    • March, Clive Phillpot, Michael Porter, Gwavas Lake Contemporary Visual Art, Issue 33
    • January, Clive Phillpot, Depicting Land’s Edge Tate Gallery catalogue
  • 2000
    • Summer, The National Art Collections Fund Quarterly
  • I999
    • November, Martin Worts, The Necessary Intimacy of Wilderness, West by South West catalogue, Stavanger Kunstforening Norway
    • Keith Patrick, Ten Years After, Contemporary Visual Art Issue 21
    • February, Nicholas Alfrey, Shining Cliff, works on paper, Angel Row Gallery Publication
  • l996
    • Alistair Hicks, Constable on Opium, Contemporary Art at Deutsche Bank catalogue, Deutsche Bank London Publication
    • May, Joe Queenan, Michael Porter Demystified, Shining Cliff Woods catalogue
    • May, Paul Nesbitt, Michael Porter in Conversation. Shining Cliff Woods catalogue
    • May, Nicholas Alfrey, Michael Porter, Shining Cliff Woods catalogue

Other, e.g. consultancy

Currently external examiner Newcastle University

Fine Art Practice

The description of interpretable areas of landscape through the use of innovative methods and techniques using what can be seen as tradition painting materials. Making comparisons with the photographic record both as a form of visual analysis and aid to memory.

One Person Exhibitions

  • 2004
    • Cape Ann Historical Museum, Gloucester Massachusetts, USA.
    • Scanning the ground, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London
    • Sloschberg gallery, Montserrat College of Art Gallery, Beverly, MA, USA
  • 2003
    • Work on Paper, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London
    • Pathless Woods and Lonely Shore, Derby Museum and Art Gallery
  • 2002
    • A Sense of Place, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London.
    • Gwavas Lake, The Bracknell Gallery, South Hill Park, Berkshire
  • 2001
    • Gwavas Lake,Tate Gallery, St Ives, Cornwall.
    • Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London.
    • Six Chapel Row, Bath. (with Christopher Cook).
  • 2000
    • Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London.
    • Galerie Brennecke, Berlin
  • 1999
    • Tregoning Fine Art, The Ashbourne Gallery, Derbyshire.
    • Royal West of England Academy, Bristol.
    • Invited Artist, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland

Mixed Exhibitions

  • 2005
    • Painting the Landscape, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives.
    • RWA Open, Bristol
    • Beyond Landscape?, RWA, Bristol.
    • Summer Exhibition, Jane Deering Fine Art, MA, USA
    • Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, with Susan Derges and Hughie O’Donoghue
  • 2004
    • Ocean View, Montserrat College of Art Gallery, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA.
    • Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London.
    • Summer Show, Jane Derring Fine Art, Annisquam,Massachusetts, USA.
    • English Nature and the Arts, Nature in Art Museum, Gloucester and Tour.
    • LAN2D Exhibition, Dean Clough, Halifax and Tour.
    • Matisse to Freud, A Critics’ Choice, The British Museum, London
  • 2003
    • Gallery Artists, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London.
    • Themes in Painting, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
    • Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London
    • Paintings from Purdy/Hicks Gallery, Jane Deering, Annisquam, Massachusetts,
    • Summer Exhibition, Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall.
    • Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.
    • LAN2D Bridges Project Exhibition, UWE, Bristol.
  • 2002
    • Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany.
    • British and Irish Contemporary Art, Jane Deering, Annisquam, Massachusetts.
    • Summer Show, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London. Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall
  • 2001
    • West by South West, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol.
    • Britannia Works, Derby University.
    • Royal West of England Academy Open, Bristol.
    • Summer Exhibition, Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London
  • 2000
    • Into the Light, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall.
    • Painting at Purdy/Hicks, London.
    • West by South West, Art Haven, Exeter.
    • Papier, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany
  • 1999
    • York City Art Gallery.
    • The Laing Gallery, Newcastle.
    • Purdy/Hicks Gallery, London.
    • Royal Photographic Society, Bath.
    • West by South West, Haugesund Billedgalleri and Stavanger Kunstforening, Norway.


Michael Porter
e-mail: michaelpart@btopenworld.com