A distinctive collection of sculptures and relief paintings that embodies the natural beauty and cultural essence of the region, showcasing a blend of creativity and craftsmanship inspired by the surroundings.

“I hope people see in my work that it’s not just about the depiction of the nature and mountains that I’m painting but also about getting them to understand that we need to preserve these places for the future. This can be done through recycling like I have shown through my work and also not leave things behind in the valleys & glaciers that could cause challenges to upcoming generations in the future. This is something that’s worth responding to now”.

Alex Heaton

Landscape Artist & Mountaineer

Alex Heaton

Landscape Artist & Mountaineer

With the support of the Denali Foundation, Alex dedicated four weeks at Sagarmatha Next in Autumn 2023. His unique blend of mountaineering and art allowed him to create 17 captivating and evocative pieces made of used cans that transport viewers to the remote and majestic mountains he has explored.

Alex wanted to paint the local mountains with the idea that the mountains themselves are the manifestation of the deities. The natural falls and formations within the Himalayas are viewed as places of veneration, where people connect with the spiritual essence of the natural world.

Alex is inspired by the beauty of these places, hoping to capture their majesty and sublime essence through his work. To him, mountains are holy and sacred spaces, much like temples, and his art reflects his deep respect for them.

Material exploration

For his residency at Sagarmatha Next, Alex sought a waste material malleable and soft that could be easily cut and manipulated to align with his concept. He used mainly coffee cans, flasks, and various metals.

These materials represent his purpose to invite audiences to reflect that the Himalayas need to be preserved. This connection between the waste materials and his purpose creates a powerful fusion of art. As he crumpled the cans, he noticed they resembled Himalayan peaks, inspiring him to develop a body of work based on this idea.

During his residency in Nepal, he immersed in the local community, who influenced his artwork, adding depth and a closer connection to the subject.

Material exploration

For his residency at Sagarmatha Next, Alex sought a waste material malleable and soft that could be easily cut and manipulated to align with his concept. He used mainly coffee cans, flasks, and various metals.

These materials represent his purpose to invite audiences to reflect that the Himalayas need to be preserved. This connection between the waste materials and his purpose creates a powerful fusion of art. As he crumpled the cans, he noticed they resembled Himalayan peaks, inspiring him to develop a body of work based on this idea.

During his residency in Nepal, he immersed in the local community, who influenced his artwork, adding depth and a closer connection to the subject.

Art in process

Art in process

He closely studied the mountains, delving into their folds and textures, which infused his pieces with more dimensions and authenticity. As he drew inspiration straight from the mountains, his works also transformed from sculptures to relief canvases adding layers of element to it.

Ama Dablam was one of the first relief paintings he experimented with. He folded metal into the silhouette of the mountain, creating a unique style. This approach is being further refined in his next pieces, such as Himalayan glow on Sagarmatha.

Nuptse was created stretched on a rusty fuel can as the background. A coffee can is layered over it. The rust in the can blends in as the colour of the rocks in the valley. He then paints the snow from the slopes of Nuptse, effectively using the texture and colour of the cans to mimic the natural features of the mountain. This approach resulted in a unique and striking depiction of Nuptse.

He began to experiment with tarpaulins found in the workshop, using them to create a sky-like backdrop on the canvas. By adding creases, he simulated the appearance of clouds being blown by the winds over the mountain ridges, while also alluding to the ubiquitous prayer flags in the Nepalese mountains.

Ama Dablam North Face was one of the final pieces, as by then, he had created a series of work and had perfected his art, dedicating ample time to refining the painting’s details.

Experience at Sagarmatha Next

His previous visit to the country sparked his interest in Nepal’s geography and its rich religious and spiritual aspects, which deepened his fascination for the local culture.

Many people were fascinated by the process of Alex’s work and the Denali Schmidt Art Gallery exhibitions, leading to engaging conversations about waste management issues and clean-up initiatives, further highlighting the importance of environmental awareness.

The interactions with the people in Nepal left him feeling joyful as he discovered shared perspectives and a common understanding. Alex resonates deeply with the strong connection between spirituality and humanity he experienced here.He is taking home the warm memories and connections he’s built during his residency.

Three of his artworks were sold during the residency. The rest will be part of Spring 2024 exhibition.

Experience at Sagarmatha Next

His previous visit to the country sparked his interest in Nepal’s geography and its rich religious and spiritual aspects, which deepened his fascination for the local culture.

Many people were fascinated by the process of Alex’s work and the Denali Schmidt Art Gallery exhibitions, leading to engaging conversations about waste management issues and clean-up initiatives, further highlighting the importance of environmental awareness.

The interactions with the people in Nepal left him feeling joyful as he discovered shared perspectives and a common understanding. Alex resonates deeply with the strong connection between spirituality and humanity he experienced here.He is taking home the warm memories and connections he’s built during his residency.

Three of his artworks were sold during the residency. The rest will be part of Spring 2024 exhibition.

“I hope people see in my work that it’s not just about the depiction of the nature and mountains that I’m painting but also about getting them to understand that we need to preserve these places for the future. This can be done through recycling like I have shown through my work and also not leave things behind in the valleys & glaciers that could cause challenges to upcoming generations in the future. This is something that’s worth responding to now”.
About the artist

Alex Heaton

About the artist
Alex Heaton

Alex is a London based artist highly known for his hyper-realistic oil paintings. He works from experience, researching and conducting studies in the remotest natural settings. 

Alex has exhibited nationally and internationally, with notable recognition including his solo show, His paintings, which often depict dreamy summits and contemplate the beyond, reflect the awe-inspiring views he encounters during his expeditions. Through his art, he explores themes of mortality, change, and renewal, and aims to find a spiritual connection with nature. He is particularly interested in depicting nature’s power and uncompromising force.

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