For the past sixteen years, Paul Wadsworth has been undertaking research trips throughout the Middle East and India, immersing himself in a diverse tapestry of tradition and culture. Wadsworth expresses an overarching sense of joy and discovery from these explorations, an enthusiasm which spurs on his energetic and physical painterly style. The soulful intuitiveness of his work is set within an intellectual framework; the colour, vibrancy and sense of new discovery is keenly observed offering a critique of ideas of cultural interpretation and sensory perception. The work is not constrained by geographical location, instead delving into a psychological exploration of experience and memory. Wadsworth works initially en plein air, then refines his canvases in the studio. He builds up layer upon layer of history, with pattern, form and colour emerging from deceptively complex and mentally absorbing compositions. Wadsworth is an artist who thrives on immersive experiences, and he invites us to indulge ourselves within the worlds he creates.
As a means to understanding himself within the context of an unfamiliar culture, Wadsworth focuses on ritual. His paintings often depict literal references such as temples, meditation, tantric performances, gardens and animals of spiritual significance. He also emphasises repetitive patterning in his work, where bold, paint-laden brushstrokes create swells of movement, strengthening the idea of ritualistic focal points. The intensity of this patterning flattens all sense of depth-perception as grounds are pinned together by intentionally naïve mark making. His child-like vision of newness alludes to ideas of discovery, perhaps re-birth? This heightens the sense of need that the viewer should bind themselves psychologically with the personal and cultural rituals that forge communities, and the sense of belonging that comes with that. It asks us to engage with a broader philosophical understanding of existence and to consider our place within it.
Wadsworth graduated from the University College Falmouth in 1997 and is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists. He exhibits extensively throughout the UK and the Middle East and has work in numerous private collections. He has been commissioned to produce work for several large corporations, and currently lives and works in Cornwall.