Artist on the way up

Arrowtown artist Paul Sewter replicates Sisyphus, from Greek mythology but instead of a boulder, he carries one of his artworks. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Arrowtown artist Paul Sewter replicates Sisyphus, from Greek mythology but instead of a boulder, he carries one of his artworks. Photo by Christina McDonald.

Arrowtown artist Paul Sewter is preparing to climb seven peaks with a series of his artworks in a specially made box to display them most likely to ''an audience of just me''.

Mr Sewter hoped his journey to display his series, titled The Myth of the Sisyphean Artist would begin on Pigeon Island and end with the last artwork shown on Sisyphus Peak near Lake Wanaka.

However, it was complete coincidence there was a peak named after Sisyphus in Otago, as he had been thinking about such a exhibition ''for quite a while''.

Mr Sewter specialises in digital painting and uses words to create a virtual paintbrush on an electronic tablet.

''I've always been really interested in how art and literature interact.''

There were many reasons why he would be trekking with art on his back.

''Going the traditional emerging artist route via galleries is something that I really find inhibiting.''

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was forced by the gods to push a giant boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, as a punishment.

Mr Sewter referred to French philosopher Albert Camus, author of The Myth of Sisyphus, who wrote the punishment was misjudged because the activity gave Sisyphus purpose and he could be happy in a state of contented acceptance.

''I'm echoing what Camus has said - I'm happy. Happy doing what I'm doing because I love what I do - there's meaning and there's purpose.''

The seven peaks Mr Sewter has earmarked for his latest exhibition are: Pigeon Hill, Feeley Hill, German Hill, Mt Beaton, Mt Rosa, Double Cone and Sisyphus Peak.