Paul Atkins British, b. 1971

Paul Atkins was born in London. He trained as a painter at Chelsea School of Art from 1990-1993 and as a printmaker on the MA Printmaking course at Camberwell College of Arts from 1994-1996.


"My own practice is concerned with the flow between abstraction and figuration, of evolving from matter to suggest hybrid beings that might appear or disappear depending on the viewer. The imagery very much evolves from the material. I've long held a strong interest in art forms that use these combinations and tensions between dreams and reality, inner and outer worlds. Recognizing the flat picture plane of any surface often allows you to explore these outcomes more directly.


I look and observe a lot from natural forms. I live in Ramsgate on the East Kent coast and the ever-changing nature of the sea and seascape is an endless source of inspiration for me. The seascape abounds with flint forms and natural abstractions which form the starting point for works in drawing, printmaking and painting. Most of the work is concerned with the human image, animal, sea and vegetal forms. I've always held a love of children's paintings and drawings and the simplicity with which they realise forms has had a strong influence on my approach.


Recent paintings have explored themes of the sea, natural elements and heads or forms that grow out of the material in combinations of shapes and colours. These are often made in a series and often form the basis for works made in printmaking.


I tend to leave my work around for a long time often going back to change and alter things. One of the things I like about printmaking is that the ideas have to be taken through a process and as such the unexpected often occurs. So, acids in Etching often don't behave as they are supposed to, colours laid down in Screen printing and Litho don't necessarily mix how you thought they would, a cut mark in Relief printing is very different from the original drawn mark. These inaccuracies are often the source for new imagery or a completed idea, but they change the work from a concept to a physical tangible outcome.


Humour is important in all my work. This sometimes is used in titles or in imagery which suggests a grotesque or farcical arrangement. This has often originated from metamorphosis and the idea of the human image merging into other forms from other natural realms between dream states and the waking hour."


Paul Atkins

April 2023