Artist aiming high in work

Artist Paul Sewter prepares to climb Ben Lomond on Sunday to display an artwork which is...
Artist Paul Sewter prepares to climb Ben Lomond on Sunday to display an artwork which is contained in the specially-made box on his back. Photo by Christina McDonald.
The artist's plight was illustrated on the alpine climb of Ben Lomond on Sunday.

Arrowtown artist Paul Sewter set off about 10am with a specially-made box containing an artwork attached to an easel strapped to his back.

The heavy contraption had already been carried up five other peaks.

Once atop the peaks he has displayed his artwork on the easel and has documented the unusual exhibition series with a video camera.

The exhibition, titled The Myth of the Sisyphean Artist, is part of a wider purpose called the 7/11 project which aims to revolutionise the way art is bought and sold.

Mr Sewter said while an artwork might increase in value over time, the people to benefit were the buyer and seller, rather than the actual artist.

The key to his idea is that the artist sets the conditions on which it would sell, with the buyers agreeing to the terms.

The final climb for Mr Sewter and his artwork is Sisyphus Peak, near Lake Wanaka, which is planned for Easter weekend and would be the most challenging yet.

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.

In February the Queenstown Times spoke to Mr Sewter before he climbed his first peak, on Lake Wakatipu's Pigeon Island.

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

Mr Sewter specialises in digital painting and uses words to create a virtual paintbrush. He graduated from London's Camberwell College of Arts in 2007 with an MA (distinction), specialising in digital painting.

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