Armstrong’s wilful mix of figurative elements and vivid coloration celebrates the diversity, volatility, and spontaneity of life. A bold and positive approach to art-making has been the signature of his work for more than three decades.
Armstrong states “I do not see my art as being separate from my life, or that it is an activity that needs the protection of silence. I work through different levels of my conscious and unconscious varying between immediate hedonism and emotion to a delayed reaction and detached analysis of events and situations and of how to express these as ideas. To use the terminology, I work in an abstract expressionistic manner, the use of paint conveying the attitude to life. This is a recognisable pattern of activity, that can be interpreted and identified with. As a social mechanism, art may deal with a cultural identity - those who recognise the art form and appreciate it, can identify themselves as belonging to that society, or group. Its mechanism also identifies the viewer as an individual, by asking for personal reflection, self awareness, according to one’s own reaction to a given work and one’s ability to assess and accept that work.”
Michael Armstrong was born in Christchurch in 1954. Educated St Andrews College, Christchurch. He graduated from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1976 (Diploma in Fine Arts, Painting Major). In 2005-2007 Armstrong undertook Post- Graduate Studies at Canterbury University, School of Fine Arts. Armstrong has had numerous solo and group shows in galleries throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has also been recipient of numerous awards include the prestigious Francis Hodgkins Fellowship in 1984 and the CSA Guthrey Travel Award in 1990. Armstrong ’s work is held in private and public collections throughout New Zealand.