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PAULA WHITBREAD-ROBERTS

ARTIST

 

01 about

Artist with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Painting at Winchester School of Art. Current member & Treasurer of the Newlyn Society of Artists ( NSA) and FE lecturer in Art & Design at Truro College.

 

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As an artist my inspiration is drawn from many sources; places visited with reference to landscape, water, architecture and interiors. Paintings evolve through reflection on the passage of time and life's experiences. Journeys I have taken and lucid dreams through a state of semi insomnia summon the senses and imagination which play throughout my work. The paintings evolve through thoughts and reflections. Wakefulness is eased by a desire to read widely, feeding my imagination and many hours spent swimming allow me to concentrate my thoughts whilst in a state of peaceful respite.

 

Many paintings are often drawn towards architectural spaces. There have always been elements of this present in my work, but generally taking a rather more semi-abstract and decorative form. In retrospect, I think my influences stem from early experiences of being regularly exposed to plans, drawings and scale models of same. My grandfather and uncle were architects and both talented painters and draughtsmen, fascinated with ancient structures. As a child I was constantly encouraged to embrace it.

 

Earlier work expresses my fascination not just with ruins, but certainly with old structures, some still surviving, living and breathing-if only just hanging on in some cases. Stepping into old theatres, disused warehouses and scrabbling through old dwellings etc all fuel my sensory perceptions of what might have been, the evocativeness of past human traces over several generations, leaving trace elements of that presence inspire my imagination. My paintings conceptualise this in a rather theatrical manner, a set without the players, just trace elements of their existence being absorbed. 

 

Knowing some of the background history plays an important role in conjuring up these images and allows me to become more engaged with the subject matter. I’m creating visual portrayal , drawn partly from evidential research, but also which are highly embellished and emotionally charged by my own heightened awareness. Broadly speaking my paintings are driven by a narrative theme, exploring the drama of emotionally charged interiors. I am drawn to the ever changing pattern of form, colour and light, revealing signs of history, where silence lingers with the residue of human presence. Shafts of light and fleeting shadows evoke the elusiveness of time. Current landscape paintings are based around Stithians Lake in Cornwall, near to where I live. Many buildings were buried beneath its waters in the the construction of the lake and when the waters recede in the summer many parts of these ruins are exposed. There is a distinct feel of solitude and quietness whilst walking and sketching in this beautiful area.

 

Prior to going full time as a practising artist, I was a lecturer on a Foundation Diploma Art Design and Media course. Being part of a highly enthusiastic team of other artists/designers where we are constantly discussing ideas with each other and with the students, who we are helping to progress onto a diverse range of Degree courses, I now feel at the pinnacle of my life in terms of developing my own work. I am totally absorbed in painting and the older I get the more consumed I become.

My latest series- Flowers

Flowers. Intoxicating in their beauty, shimmering with narcissistic pride, glorious and mysterious as they dramatically fade away.

Flowers are exquisite creations that seem to reflect many human emotions along with the ever changing patterns of life.

Exotic and beguiling, each holds an array of thoughts and meanings for each of us as individuals: symbolic though birth, death, marriage, romance, joy, fear, intrigue, passion, memento mori., desire or purely aestheticism.

The flower as a motif has all kinds of evocative significance, allowing the viewer/voyeur to create or interpret their own narratives. There is a sort of watchfulness about them which fascinates me, a conspiratorial comfort of having them around, a quiet, mindful communication. They wait, observing, resplendent in their daily transformations.

They have a dream-like aura, a poetic resonance as they gradually twist and shift away in their shrivelled glory, breathing their last breath. “And tis’ my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes” - Wordsworth .

A magical energy transcends, a type of solipsistic quality and one which to me heightens uncertainty, holding my attention. There is a trickery of interpretation, a vaporous notion of vague reality, with their hypnotic scent; a sense of ‘dangereux’ which has engaged my attention for this current series of paintings.

I want to capture their essence, their movement, the sensuality of their very existence. Each painting has evolved with particular links on a personal level. ‘Pretties’ being my first spoken word as a child, beginning with the tulips, but most works relate more specifically to the intriguing, colourful life of my late mother and leading eventually towards a calm transcendence.

The paintings evolve along with my thought processes, allowing the paint to speak and flow and my senses to drift. Flowers seem to have the power to flirt, to dance, to play with our imagination; a silent link to the lives of those who indulge with them.

 

02 portfolio

'Narrative drives the central, decorative image. My paintings are held together by formal structures, with surface pattern, textural qualities & mark making, a predominant factor'.

 

03 Exhibitions

2019 'Ex Libris' NSA- Tremenheere Gallery

2018 'On View' NSA - Tremenheere Gallery

2018 'Drawing Explored' NSA - Tremenheere Gallery

2017 'Critics Choice' NSA- Tremenheere Gallery

2017 'Borders' NSA - Tremenheere Gallery 

Next exhibition...

12th October NSA Tremenheere Gallery

Elemental flyer.jpg
 

04 contact

Contact Us

paulapit@hotmail.co.uk

Tel: 07884253369

Cornwall, UK

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