Solo Exhibition & Residency / West Gallery, Quay Arts, Isle of Wight, UK
16 January - 12 March, 2016 / Photos: John Sparrow & PP
On the subject of raising the ordinary to elevated heights.
From the Quay Arts Elevation page
"Paul Woods (aka Paradox Paul) is a conceptual artist, recently returned to the Island from over 20 years spent in Europe. He previously worked as an architectural model-maker and exhibition technician before focussing on his visual art practice. Rather than working in a particular field or media, his has worked on a wide range of projects involving installation, photography, fine art, performance art and audience participation. His work can be defined as conceptual in whatever form it takes, while subversion and ambiguity remain a constant.
'Elevation' brings various elements and ideas together. The works displayed are being assembled within a six month period, begun at his studio in Ryde's Depozitory and continued in The West Gallery itself. Everything is created from recycled materials collected from streets and building sites around the Island, with some items specifically donated*. Reluctant to work from a blank canvas, Paul finds that reclaimed materials contain built-in character and history.
Paul believes that nothing is ever finished and considers everything he does as sketches. Rarely making preliminary drawings or models, he builds according to images in his head, and to sets of self-imposed constraints. Parts are assembled from what comes to hand, one piece after the next, as one would assemble a puzzle. Made with only basic hand tools, the works have a feeling of simplicity and spontaneity, regardless of how long they may have taken to produce.
'Elevation' is to include two new thrones, one architectural, harking back to Paul's roots as an architectural model-maker, while the other will be the largest he has created to date. These pieces trace back too to his 'Game of Thorns' installation in the group show 'The Art of Democracy', also seen in The West Gallery in Summer 2015. The throne installations allow visitors to feel a sense of power and/or elevation through physically interacting with the works.
Through his multi-disciplinary methods and visitor particiption, a wider audience is allowed to get directly involved in the arts and feel included, too, in the making process. Throughout the residency, visitors will be invited to help out, to develop and construct new and existing works, as well as to bring materials for the project:- donated materials are a key dynamic of this residency and exhibition.
Aside from his artistic practice, Paul Woods founded and ran 'off-spaces' for many years in Berlin and Zürich as a curator, specialising in exhibition and events design. He has also exhibited and participated in projects in Berlin, Hamburg, Zürich, London and Prague."
*Particular thanks for donated materials:
The Shanklin Gallery & Picture Framers (Regent Street, Shanklin)
A. Hathaway Picture Framing (Northwood Business Park, Cowes)