Christopher Noulton
All paintings and photographs © Christopher Noulton 2020

Christopher Noulton

Artist Profile

In conversation…

“For many years I helped to realise fictional worlds for others both in film
and television productions and this naturally led me to want to make a world of my own

You have a truly incredible portfolio of work. From working on album covers for The
Police, The Cure and Roxy Music, to building the miniature sets and characters for the
first two series of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. And all of this was before you
became a painter.
How have you managed to remain relatively anonymous in a world of instant

I guess that’s because I have been working hard on my paintings over the past few years,
building up a body of work that I am happy with both conceptually and technically
before putting it out there. I’m now with the James Freeman Gallery in London and have
had two exhibitions with them; Another Country and Ages of Innocence, so my work is
at last getting the exposure I want both in the gallery and online.

Your paintings have followed a similar nostalgic theme and tone over the years.
Can you tell me more about this?
Looking back, I have always been obsessed with made worlds and the way they reflect
our real world. For many years I helped to realise fictional worlds for others both in film
and television productions, and this naturally led me to want to make a world of my own,
someplace back in time which I can visit whenever I want. As the author L. P. Hartley
wrote in the opening lines from The Go-Between; “The past is another country… they
do things differently there.” I have always loved the fantastic concept that that line
conjures up, well to me anyway, that the past still exists in some parallel real time, and to
visit that place as a time traveler, I guess would be incredible. I use painting as a form of
time travel hence my paintings are anchored in that past narrative. In addition, I’m also
on a quest to find the fairytale in the every day and the poetic in the mundane.

Does one painting inspire the next?
Yes, absolutely so. Take the topiarist in the background of The Cutters for example. I
spent several weeks on that painting and so had plenty of time to ponder on who he was.
That led to a new piece called Lucky Gilchrist (the name I gave him) which allowed me
to explore his backstory in more detail. Another example would be The Sentinels. I first
painted the girl in that painting for a piece titled; I am Still in Touch With Your Presence
Dear. She is seen visiting her ancestral home, an Art Deco mansion that I feature often in
my work. I became intrigued by her story and so this subsequently led to a third piece
called; The Paper Wedding, where we see more of these strange paper chain children at
play as well as her mother and father rendered in paper on their wedding day.

You tend to have recurring themes in your work, almost like they all come
together to tell a story. Is there a whole narrative at play?

I guess there are several narratives at play in this fictional village of mine, all running
alongside each other, just like in the real world. Having said that, although each picture is
a standalone piece, when hung side by side you can see quite clearly that the characters
are all interconnected in some way. Aerial views are also a common theme I seem to
return to. I have always been interested in seeing the world from above. The aerial view landscapes I paint are inspired by my years of working as a special effects
model maker in the film industry, where most days I could be found
walking across a miniature landscape, staring down at the tiny people and
streets I’d made. There is a visual silence in these paintings if that makes
sense. We are up so high that we can only just hear the distant drone of the
cars and people beneath.

Are you busy with any new works at the moment?
Yes, I have several paintings underway. They all feature the cutter girls,
busy making full-size paper doppelgangers of the villagers who have
mysteriously disappeared. I knew aspects of this Coronavirus lockdown
would find their way into the work in some way or another. It’s been so
strange driving through London’s eerily deserted streets on my way to my
studio recently. All of the characters that I used to see are no longer there.

Your whole world seems to be one of creating. What do you do when
you’re not creating?

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I find the creative part of one’s mind
never really switches off. Your radar is always switched on for new ideas
that can feed into a painting. Either that or you are chewing over a problem
you are having with a work in progress. Live music and Guinness do help
provide a distraction though. I love nothing more than gigging with

All paintings and photographs © Christopher Noulton 2020

Finally, if you could own any three works of art, what would they be?
Stanley Spencer’s The Resurrection, Cookham (1924-1927). I have often
fantasised about a scene like this happening on the old council estate I grew
up on. All the old faces coming back from the dead. Stirring stuff.
Marc Chagall’s The Birthday (1915). This totally captures the feeling of
being in love. It features Chagall and Bella, the painter’s soon-to-be bride
levitating as if the little room they are in can no longer contain them or their
love for each other.
Any one of Grayson Perry’s pots featured in his The Charms of Lincolnshire
exhibition from 2006. They were made to sit alongside the Victorian-era
artefacts he borrowed from the Lincoln Museum that had a strong emotional
charge for him.
For a detailed overview of Christopher’s paintings and work for television
and film go to His book No Thro Ro can
also be purchased on his website.

All paintings and photographs © Christopher Noulton 2020

All paintings and photographs © Christopher Noulton 2020

Selected prints are available on request. Email us to find out more:

Rhodes House Oxford designed by Stanton Williams
Rhodes House
Karl Lagefeld, Plastic Supreme, by Day-Z

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