Travel, Performance and Cornwall have all played a major part in the development of Paul’s work.
Paul lives in the far west of Cornwall in an isolated farm house on the moors where he has a barn as a studio. Its wild, windy, romantic, challenging and embedded in nature. A great place to observe the colours of the changing seasons. Painting on location in Cornwall is important to Paul to really get the essence of the day.
Having travelled extensively in the Middle East, showing works in Dubai and Muscat, the Arabic culture and its landscape have become a big part of what Paul’s work is about. Although still a big influence the more recent travels in India have become a great source of colour and story telling possibilities for new work. The colour and chaos the sacredness and serenity the beauty and the profane. Paul fell in love with India and to work on canvases when back in the studio in Cornwall is a constant flow of memories and colour. Paul paints whilst travelling and keeps sketch books of quick observational drawings which serve to jog his memory when back in the studio.
Paul’s process back in the studio is to work on a number of canvases at the same time. Starting with no specific idea the paintings grow as the story emerges from the paint. Paul tends to bounce from one painting to another finding colours that work creating a rhythm throughout.
Performance of all kinds has always been of interest to Paul. Personally, Paul has always been involved with playing in bands and loves the energy of a live event, be it the time spent backstage or on the stage. Having been involved with festivals over many years, watching and sometimes participating, Paul has built up memories and a catalogue of images to create from the circus, Burlesque, dance, theatre, street entertainers and the general essence of carnival. The work Paul produces from these experiences are sometimes from life or other times are from the memories of an event. India is a great source of performance. Paul has spent the last six winters travelling and painting in various parts of India. One great evening Paul remembers spending time watching and drawing gypsy dancers from Rajasthan. The movement, sound and colour exploded into his head and led to numerous works being produced.
Mark Kermode Statement
A Paul Wadsworth painting hangs in our living room – a shard of sunlight leaping up from a Cornish moor, a bright streak of yellow bursting from an earthy Celtic landscape. The painting changes during the day; as the light shifts around it the image seems to dance, a bold swathe of dark green coming in and out of focus, the clouds in the sky billowing and rearranging. Sometimes I can see figures moving along the ridgeway at the point where the land meets the sky. At other times, I just see an explosion of colour.
The paintings which emerge from Paul’s time in India amplify that sense of colour leaping from the canvas - the rich textures of verdant foliage, the humid warmth of the air, the dripping fullness of the trees. Water is a recurrent element, reflecting and intensifying the life which throngs through the paintings. And just as these images are vibrant with adventure and personal narrative, so they are peopled with figures who emerge from the landscape to tell their own stories; working, walking, worshipping, dancing. At times the paintings burst the confines of their own canvasses, affixed to larger boards which allow them to continue expanding, shrines at the centre of a world which is fruitful and multiplying.
There is nothing ‘touristy’ here; this is the work of someone who has immersed himself in these landscapes, succumbed to them, become intoxicated by them. They are overwhelmingly positive and life-affirming. A painting of trees over water shimmers and shifts, the colours constantly rearranging themselves, reflections moving as if still fluid. I think that’s what I love most about Paul’s work – the sense that each painting is still growing, still evolving, still finding its own story. I could look at them for hours, days, years. I am sure you will feel the same.
Fine art degree. Falmouth Art College 1996
Solo and Group Exhibitions
Majlis Gallery - Dubai 2000-2021 (shows and residencies)
Bait Munza gallery - Muscat Oman 2004-2014
Campden gallery - Solo shows 2008-2021
Kings road gallery London - Solo shows 2007-2011
Janet Rady Fine Art - London-Middle East
Tresco gallery – Isles of Scilly
Beside the wave gallery - Falmouth 2004-2016
Cricket gallery – London 2015-2021
Marks and Spencers - 2012
Barclays bank (Dubai) - 2010
St Levan Estate Cornwall - 2014-2017