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Paul Hirst

University of Derby (BA 1st Hons Fine Art, 2008 / 2008)


What is your favourite film of all time?

It has to be star Wars. As a child this film captivated me and inspired my creativity.

What music are you currently listening to and why?

A wide mix of music from classical, through to Indie rock and I have even been known to listen to a pop song or two. My favourite band is Muse at the moment, its interesting stuff and great to paint to.

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

I ike artist that evidence an element of skill in their work. Artists such as Gerhard Richter, Peter Doig, Michael Raedecker, John Virtue and  Alan Rankle to name a few.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

It would have to be Turner who pushed the bundaries of painting so many years ago. I also admire Rothko whos grasp of colour and emotions was phenomenal.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

I regularly visit the Turner collection at Tate Britain when I am in London. It invigorates my soul and inspires me to be better.

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

Are they about volcanoes?....I usually answer if thats what you see in them then that's what it is.

What / who inspired you to be an artist?

My Art Teacher at School Mr Scothern was my first inspiration, he made me believe I had a talent and then it was my wife who encouraged me years later to build on that talent. I thank them both.

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

I create sketches and take photographs out in the landscape. These become my aide memoire and I study them prior to going into the studio. Once in the studio then the paintings are created solely from memory constantly responding to the painting,as it begins to form it invokes other memories and experiences. The painting becomes an amalgamation of different elements of the landscape.

What do you like most about being an artist?

Creating something new and the excitement when things are going well on the canvas.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

Being selected by Stephen Snoddy of the New Art Gallery Wallsall for a group exhibition at Baskerville House in Birmingham sits there with getting awarded an artist residency with Erewash Borough Council and Harrington Mill Studios in Long Eaton just a few months after graduating.

What are your plans for the coming year?

To make as much work as possible.  I have exhibited quite widely in the past few years and I now feel the time is right to concetrate more on the creating of art.

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Artist's statement

My aim is to explore the landscape in order to understand the relationship between the environment and my own personal experience.

The paintings are fleeting glimpses of the landscape, they are borne from countless exposure to the raw elements of the countryside. They are not picture postcard visual recordings of any particular vistas, but more a memory of an experience, a culmination of many remembered elements of the landscape, merged together and capturing a sense of the place. The paintings act as a freeze frame to my subconscious mind, capturing little snippets of long forgotten experiences.

I feel that through experiencing and painting the landscape, I become a part of that environment and it a part of me, allowing me to transmute this empathetic connection into a visual outcome, through the mediums of landscape and paint.

I have recently been awarded an Artist in Residence position at The Bond Company in Birmingham. It is a years long residency where I will live and work on site creating work responding to the title "Mapping the Landscape" and exploring the local environment and conveying a sense of place.



2011 - Site - Wirksworth Festival Contemporary Art programme

2011 - Beyond the Horizon - Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester

2011 - Traces - Solo show at Harrington Mill Studios Exhibition Gallery, Long Eaton

2010 - Buxton Museum and Art Gallery Solo show

2010 - Synapse Festival - East Midlands

2010- Art Supermarket 2010.

2009- Affordable Art Fair, London.
2009- Derby Royal Hospital Air Programme.

2009- Visual at Baskerville House.

2009- One Picture Show Osnabruck Germany.

2009- Imagining Landscape Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

2008/09- Hidden Derbyshire sponsored by NADFAS at The Dome Buxton '08 and University of Derby '09.

2007/08- Wirksworth Festival