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Introducing the images

My work often deals with ideas around memory, loss and commemoration. As a child I grew up celebrating a brother’s birthday whom I never new. He died before I was born. I remember one year I made him a birthday card, and not knowing what to do with it I buried it in the garden and so started a process of making things specifically to commemorate things, times and other people. Quite often, in making my work I know exactly who the piece is for and what it’s about, sometimes meaning just appears through associations and objects within the work. Some of those associations are with people who no longer exist. Some are here and present now, they are all represented in some way within the work. Sometimes something subconsciously comes out in the work and I know who it’s for or what it’s about without having planned it at all. I sometimes just paint objects I associate with a person. For an artist like myself, condensing what I do into a few paragraphs seems even harder than producing the work. My work comes through a synthesis of observation. I might choose to paint the light that gives objects a sense of realism or play with colour associations and composition, but through a synthesis of experiences, memories, nostalgic feelings I try in some way to record significant moments in my life. This is probably not always obvious to the viewer but in some way I like it as it always allows the work to remain a private part of me. I often try to infuse the work with humour and enjoy subverting something that looks innocent into something playfully wicked. I try to combine objects to allow a viewer to construct their own narratives and bring their own experiences of the world to the work. I always hope that the work becomes intriguing enough to engage a visitor repeatedly.

Paul Birchall


Published By Paul Birchall 2013 Cape Town South Africa ______

Printed in Holland

All Images are Copyright © of Paul Birchall 2013

Cover image Eve’s Apple Oil on canvas 30 x 40 cm 20 13



waiting for vesuvius