2009
08.28

Paul Williams

Before taking up painting, I used to practise as a property valuer in remote rural and wilderness areas, both inland and along the coast. In those years of solitary life, I developed a close kinship with the Australian landscape and a deep appreciation of its raw poetry and unique features. The real challenge for the artist, I believe, is not just to paint the scenery but to explore the hidden narrative beneath the surface. So it is that my painting, rather than making an attempt at realism, relies a great deal on feelings, imagination and an awareness of the esoteric, for example, a confronting solitude in the subject or a sense of spirituality arising from a vast history of human occupation. I often wonder how the land and other natural phenomena would look through the eyes of mythmakers. My current paintings were inspired by my wanderings along the foreshores of Middle HArbour, not far from my home. Down by the water you become aware of natural rhythms and a great orchestration of tide, prevailing winds, the sun rising and setting and the queenly journey of the moon along her ancient paths through the firmament. As captivating as it all is, we know the whole thing is regulated by a dour governance, the laws of physics. My question is, are there laws pertaining to metaphysics? perhaps so. Contemporary artists seem to make their own laws in creating a personal universe. For some reason, my approach to drawing and painting the figure is in a more light hearted and whimsical vein. In my search for the essence of the model’s pose, I continue to distrust outward appearances and, intuitively, I rely upon the playful use of my materials and the feelings engendered by the subject to nail an image out there beyond the real.

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