The inspiration for Paul’s work comes from both an exploration of personal iconography and history, paired with a considered first-hand observation, allowing him to address key themes of memory,form and representation within a framework of figurative and narrative painting.
The choice of subject matter is an intuitive one, drawing on the depth and meaning found in the everyday and commonplace. The work is partly documentation of the erosion of certain social environments, arenas populated by people who exist on the fringes. The tackling of subject matter whose depiction has fallen on less favourable times and often relegated to the sidelines within contemporary practice. Motifs have included dockyards, boxing clubs, funfairs, nocturnes and funerals; images that share similar pictorial concerns, those of absence and presence negotiated through the genres of portraiture, still life and landscape.
Within his work he tries to reflect the substance and character of his subject matter through an involvement with working the surface of the canvas. The painting process is a very physical thing and is a search toward a painterly economy, a search for an essential remainder.