Paul is a mixed media artist inspired by scientific images and what they reveal about our perceptions of and relationship to the world around us. He explores how we perceive nature through the distorting lens of custodianship and control.
The scientific method necessarily reduces complexity to manageable dimensions so the macro can be studied in the micro, but there is unavoidable bias in the choice of what to exclude.
Paul’s current work, The Grassland Project, delves into two troves of found scientific slides – the lifelong collection of a plant biologist, and the entire audio-visual collection of a Victorian secondary college from the late 1970s.
While seeking to document and explore the world’s creations, these collections inevitably record the shadow left by the eye, hand and mind of their creators. Students in the 70s were taught that “Man has learned to adapt the environment to his needs and so is largely independent”. The plant biologist studies the resilience of introduced crops ignoring the productive indigenous grasses growing alongside.
Paul pulls on these threads to see what happens. He mutates the images through duplication, acrylic image transfer, programmed light effects, repetitive resin casting, slide projection and sculptural installation.
The works explore the interplay between positive and negative space, confirmed and challenged biases and the degradation and adaptation that arises from repetitive duplication. Through this Paul examines a paradox in human perception – how our biases and beliefs shape what we see and what we don’t.