Mike Worrall

Born 1942 in Matlock Derbyshire, UK

I have been painting since the early 1960's and am almost entirely self taught. I still retain the basic technique and style developed in these early years. I am committed to exploring the subconscious and I like Paul Delvaux and Max Ernst amongst others.

I've worked in the feature film industry as an Ideas Artist. You can see my work on Alien III website. I was told by Roman Polanski that a painting of mine he had, gave him the idea of making the film Macbeth. He based the second scene on the painting. I have works in the collections of Victor Lownes, Alan Price of the Animals, Roman Polanski, Nicholas Roeg, Vincent Ward, Alex Proyas and many others.

Since moving to Australia in 1988, I've exhibited regularly with Wagner Gallery Sydney, and have a one man show every two years.

As a child I was always intrigued by paintings involving some sought of mystery element. So I have tended to be drawn in this direction myself. Get the viewer guessing and wondering what it's about! Quite often I’m not sure myself but for some inexplicable reason it might work as a picture. I might not understand it myself even. It may be an expression on a face or just a pose or location.
I'm a firm believer that I should not have to attempt to explain the enigma to people and that the picture should retain some mystery for a lasting interest. This I hasten to add is not so with all work off course! I’m only referring to my surreal content paintings!

I'm interested in Dreams and Subconscious thoughts and the weirdness of how we go from one thought to another in an almost drifting process. Dreams are a great source of material for me. Not that I wake up and paint the dream that I may have had, even if I could remember it, I'd then have to most likely make up the details. My paintings are more deliberate and constructed with the element of change.

When I was younger I did a lot of disturbing horrific subject matter and themes, dealing with Shock & Horror, such as Bruegal's Triumph of Death and skeletons! I even did a painting called "After the Rape" in Preraphalite realism. I cringe when I think of it nowadays as it must have offended many people! Although I don't remember anybody saying so.

I think most people realized that I was trying to show the Pathos in such a subject. These days I'm still interested in death of course, but I think I’m more subtle. I have always had a fascination with beautiful subjects, especially women and I love painting them, especially getting a good expression or gaze! I rarely use a model for a painting. I prefer to make it up and invent a woman out of my head. This doesn't always work out well and I often as I call it reach the top of the mountain then with too many strokes of the brush start the descent down the other side into the abyss! So I either scrap it or resort to using a model.

I am an Intuitive painter. If it doesn't work in an Intuitive way, I can’t progress. I don't suppose that's all that unusual really, I suppose all artists are intuitive!

-- Mike Worrall, 2008

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------