Cornwall Contemporary 1 Parade Street, Penzance

Call 01736 874749


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Paul Wadsworth








“Travel and Performance have played a major part in the development of my work.

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 my 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.

I fell in love with this country and to work on canvases when back in the studio in Cornwall is a constant flow of memories and colour.

I paint whilst travelling and keep sketch books of quick observational drawings which serve to jog my memory back in the studio and to just place the image in my head. 

My 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. I tend 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 me. Personally I have always been involved with playing in bands and love the energy of a live event, be it the time spent backstage or on the stage.

Performance can mean many things the actor the singer or the inner performer I believe we all have.

Having been involved with festivals over many years, watching and sometimes participating, I have built up memories and a catalogue of images to create from including the circus, Burlesque, dance, theatre, street entertainers and the general essence of carnival.

The works I produce from these experiences are sometimes from life or other times are the memories of an event.

Recently I have been painting live on stage to a performance of David Bowie songs. The event, called the Bowie lounge, involves theatre, dance and music. My response is to the theatrical and to the images from the lyrics of the songs.

India is a source of performance. I spent one great evening watching and drawing dancers from Rajasthan. The movement, sounds and colour exploded into my head and have led to numerous works being produced.”









“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.”

Mark Kermode

Own Art
with an interest free loan
Representative 0% APR

Cornwall Contemporary
1 Parade Street
Queens Square
TR18 4BU

Telephone: 01736 874749

opening times:
monday - Saturday  10 - 5

Gallery Director:
Sarah Brittain-Mansbridge

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