Anton's artistic legacy for sale

MORPETH artist Anton Sulek painted from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn to quench his relentless desire to make a mark on the world.

"Life is too short, but my paintings will last forever. Why worry about life?" was his philosophy, which led to a vast collection of work.

Seven of his paintings come under the hammer on Saturday and are set to attract collectors from across the country.

Louis Johnson Auctioneers will conduct the latest sale of Anton's distinctive dark depictions, which have become prized since his death in 1988, aged 37.

Mr Johnson said: "We've been selling Anton Sulek's work for about 20 years but it's really started to become collectable now.

"His paintings are fetching between 500 and 1,000 and we expect these ones to be popular with bidders."

Included in the set of seven are 'Blood Red Sky over Polish Town' and 'Ship on the Tyne', city-scape canvases inspired by Anton's new home and homeland.

Auctioneer John Hayes expects the lots to create a buzz among collectors and historians.

"I think Anton's work is very intriguing, and the beauty in it is that everyone sees something different — either you love it or you hate it," he said.

"Because of the strangeness of his style and subjects, people are very curious to find out more about them and Anton himself, they want to know what was going on in his mind when he painted."

He added: "Anton's paintings are becoming a very good investment, and are increasing in value all the time.

"In the galleries his work is fetching 1,200 to 1,500 which is a good indication that this set should do well."

Anton was born in England in 1951 of Polish parents who were interned in a resettlement camp at Hartford Bridge.

Whilst having no formal training in art, he produced drawings and paintings noted for their colour sense and compositional excellence, picking up a brush aged just four years.

His work was influenced by classical music, religion, war, military oppression and the troubled history of Poland.

Anton's father still lives in the town at Jobling Crescent, Stobhill.

• The work of Anton Sulek will be on sale at Louis Johnson Auctioneers on Bridge Street on Saturday at 9.30am prompt.

The paintings can be viewed today (Thursday) from 10am-7pm, tomorrow from 10am to 3pm and on the morning of the sale from 8.30am.

• Meanwhile, at the same sale a set of rare military medals will come under the hammer.

Morpeth soldier Private T. Murray was awarded the Victorian Military General Service Medal, the Queen Victoria Military Service Medal, the Queen Victoria Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Indian Mutiny Medal.

He served with the Royal Artillery and the Seventy First Highlanders.