Paul Smith

"I am a full-time gallery artist, living and working on the edge of the Peak District National Park.  All of my new figurative ceramic sculptures are unique one-offs, hand-built in paperclay using a variety of different methods.  The work is in a bold and semi-abstract style, with graceful sweeping curves and simplified details.

The main themes of my current work are re-interpretations of European folk tales such as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, a darkly humorous tapestry of innocence and deception.  

My version of this cautionary classic has a beguiling modern twist, for she has grown up to be a supremely confident young woman, spirited and charismatic. I empower the underdog, and thereby search for balance. However, once freed from the chains of oppression they tend to desire top dog status themselves. Concepts such as love, jealousy and danger also play a role in my work.

I also enjoy depicting the animals that inhabit these stories; for instance the wolves and bears of more dangerous times.  Walk alone in the forest at night and the unruly subconscious will conjure a lurking malevolence.  My work is solidly rooted in the figurative tradition, of all the artists of the past I particularly admire the work of Elie Nadelman.  A Polish-born sculptor working in the earlier part of the last century, Nadelman was innovative in his wonderful sense of fluid line and form, influenced in turn by American folk art."

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