Patrick Haughton was born in Devonport in 1942 and educated in Barnstaple, North Devon, moving to study architecture in Exeter in 1960. He was encouraged to paint by the artist, Nicholas Eastwood, and in 1962 abandoned architecture to enrol at Exeter College of Art. He subsequently transferred to the West of England College of Art in Bristol, where he studied painting and sculpture. Paul Feiler was head of painting at that time, and visitors included William Scott and Karl Weschke.
On leaving art school, Patrick qualified as a teacher, and moved to Kent. He returned to the South West in 1975, becoming head teacher of a small rural school in 1982. Since retiring from teaching in 1995, he has worked as a full-time artist. He was elected as a full member of Newlyn Society of Artists in 1995, and is an associate member of the Penwith Society of Arts. In addition Patrick co-presents a regular jazz radio programme, ‘Jazz Train,’ for Source FM, and has designed sets and props for Quirk Theatre in Exeter, and The Cornish Theatre Collective. He now lives and works in Penryn, overlooking the estuary of the River Fal, in Cornwall, and spends prolonged periods of time in Brittany.
Patrick is a master of proportion and delicate balance. His paintings and painted relief constructions employ an elegantly understated simplicity, which weld together precision with an astonishing finesse of expressive line. His works culminate in an acute portrayal of the ele mental nature of the landscape and the powers which shape it. Of late Patrick has embraced a wider exploration of the remnant, fugitive shadows residually tracing the passage of life through time and place. In these works, incisive collision is spliced with elusive fragmentation, on that sub-level where inspiration meets tangible reality. The abstract fluidity of his lines and fields of colour achieve a harmonious resonance, aligned with a satisfying, oblique symmetry, which together with his meticulous quality of draughtsmanship, evoke a deep emotional response.
Of his work, Patrick says “Over the past year or so, my work has shifted its emphasis, from reflections on landscape, to wider concerns regarding a sense of time and place. I am fascinated by ways in which the transitory nature of our existence is demonstrated: by traces of former human activity and through the action of natural forces on the physical world. Works evolve through the process of making, of constructing and assembling, drawing, painting, on canvas, board or paper. I search for a visual language, which will communicate my perceptions of place and time, sometimes in corporating fragments of found objects and documents, which bring elements of reality into the work. Influences on my painting are many. Visual artists such as Picasso, Braque and Nicholson, Brancusi and Hepworth are clearly important to me; but the music played in the studio: - anything from the 18th century baroque to the 20th century composers, also including jazz music of all periods; - has its own effect on the structure and content of work. In the final analysis I would hope that the work is an honest reflection of my experience of life”.