How it began...
It started with being asked to make a visual signpost that could be erected on grass to promote an Art Fair. Paul who was renowned for painting hares was put to task, to create an eye-catching sign for the Peak District Artists outside the Devonshire Dome in Buxton.
Walking around his local DIY store, Paul pondered at using giant sheets of MDF to make a larger than life size, cut out of a hare. However, he came across a section of Wire. His thoughts went from instead of `painting` a hare, he could `create` a 3-Dimensional Hare, a giant leaping hare!
And, that’s how it began, rolling out a coil of wire in his garden. He was unsure where to begin. So as if he would do by starting to draw. He uncoiled the wire, and using its malleable simplicity. Paul started to bend the wire into shape, as a pen would draw the lines. Each piece would be anatomically be moulded, twisted, layered to finally create…a hare of gigantic proportions. An 18ft leaping Bunny! The impact at the Fair was undeniable, it got the crowds in and was photographed keenly by the weekend visitors. Paul had also visited a local Primary School in Buxton asking the students to name him. After many entries...Paul chose `Farahop` as suggested by a little girl, who liked Mo Farah, the UK Athlete famed for his speed and endurance, not to dissimilar to the hare. So, Paul's first sculpture may have been of gigantic proportions. However, it had happily and unexpectedly had entered him into another artform of wire sculpting…And for Farahop... he went on for a season at the National Trust’s Lyme Park's formal Gardens before residing in a Sculpture Park outside of Chester. A lovely start for what started out life as being an simple Art Fair Sign!
One of his next notable commissions were to create three metal wire dogs to feature for `The Dogs Trust 125 years` celebrations at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Bed. The beautiful garden featuring the metal dogs won Gold in Show and was commented on by Monty Dom on television, as his Favourite part of the Garden. Whilst `The Guardian` newspaper took endearing photos of one of the Dogs Trust Terriers gently sniffing one of Paul’s wire canines. The secret…. we will tell you - peanut butter!
Another large-scale publicized event and this time, a Horse! Aintree Grand National in Liverpool were acknowledging the 40th anniversary last win of the legendary Red Rum in 1977. Paul’s intricate life-size wire horse entitled `To the Wire` stood proudly at the Grand National in Liverpool, near Rummy’s resting place at the finishing line.
`To the Wire` has since been re imagined and has become a salute to the Animals of War. He has been on various locations wearing a coat of 40 hand-made Red Poppies, each representing a staggering 200,000 horses and mules that died during WWI. One such prestigious occasion was the 100 years to mark the end of WWI at the UK’s only War Memorial Art Gallery when the Horse was entwined with 15 metres of barbed wire. The poignant sculpture stood with silent dignity, side by side with the hundreds of names listed for the Servicemen who died in Stockport.
Recently, the Horse was poised on the High Street in Poynton for the Remembrance Sunday Parade. One of the photographs taken of the Horse and his poppies was shared thousands of times on Social Media. One post by `Keep the Ban` featuring Paul’s To the Wire Poppy Horse was shared over 24,000 times and liked by countless many more. A true indication, we are a Nation of Animal Lovers.
Other favourite animal creations of Paul’s, which are often accompanied by his own storytelling, include `Patch` his Art Gallery’s Mascot. If we had a pound for every time we have been asked if he is for sale? We would be very happy!...Sorry, not `Patch` (too many disappointed people who pat him daily). Along with `Copper` the Recycled Fox with the message to clean and tidy up, help our planet!. There has also been a life-size Running Wolf and a Life Size Red Deer with full fantasy style antlers! That has featured at the Village Christmas Switch On’s and loved by thousands.
Commissions - Paul has sold lots of sculptures over the last five years including Dogs, Hares, Owls, Mice, Robins. Beautiful elegant `Pet Busts` mounted on wood. As Paul has to divide his time with his painting, illustrations and the High St Gallery. He unfortunately, doesn't always have the time to create a large amount of sculptures for sale. As its takes considerable time to hand create them. For example; Copper and Patch took a couple of weeks each to make.
Paul's latest sculpture addition is a beautiful Raven, which he hopes to add to and make a collection of these charismatic black birds. From time to time, Paul also makes his popular wire bell mice and robins. These when they do become available and need homes. These go on sale in our Sculpture Shop.
For anyone who would like to feature one of Paul's Sculptures or commission him for a special event or project. Please, feel free to approach us to discuss your ideas.