Art from another galaxy
April 10, 2018
Planets made of ice, lava-hit lightning, blue moons and nebulae are lighting up Newtown at an art exhibition with a difference.
Newtown painter John Sturgess’ “Out of this Galaxy” exhibition opened on Saturday at a pop-up gallery at 199 Riddiford Street.
The South African-born artist has had a life-long interest in outer space and grew up painting ships, aeroplanes, rockets and UFOs.
Operating out of his home studio, he uses acrylic paints and oil based varnishes to create outer-galactic scenes and landscapes. It took Sturgess, who has no formal training, less than a year to complete the project.
He enjoys the freedom of painting largely unknown territories. “No one can contradict you about what you do wrong. Man hasn’t even been to Mars yet.”
From Port Elizabeth, he fondly remembers African thunderstorms and enjoys painting lightning.
“Did you know Zaire [Democratic Republic of the Congo] is the lightning capital of the world?” he asks.
Tasha Gaines, who helped organise the exhibition, first met Sturgess through her involvement with St Thomas’ Church and encouraged him to make use of the vacant space opposite the church.
About 30 locals turned out to support Sturgess.
Medical student Rowena Woodhams says knew him from his favourite spot at People’s Coffee. “[His artworks] tell a story.”
Out of This Galaxy exhibition will run until April 21.