trained as an architect at the acclaimed duncan of jordanstone school of art in dundee scotland, brian spent 25 years in private practice, focussing on restoring and shaping historic buildings and monuments, winning numerous international architectural design competitions such as suneo’s stone enclosure for a 4m high celtic carved monument in forres, scotland and a new sculpture garden at thanksgiving square, ireland.
brian’s art has deep roots in his architectural background, in particular exploring how the passing of time - aided by the elements - shape and ‘redesign’ man’s handiwork. he is intrigued by the fragile state of masonry, just before structures collapse or are rescued, when neglect or abandonment cause them to be reduced to their bare shapes, losing the fussiness of their superficial and functional elements like roofs, windows and doors. a simple, graphic structure with softened sculptural edges is all that remains on a building’s journey back to dust.
abandoned walls in the karoo built from indigenous materials - clay, lime and stone - still show the vestiges of their last coat of paint, catching the sun, gleaming and contrast with darkened skies, parched tree silhouettes in the dusty landscape. oils exploit this in a palette that is both subdued and dramatic in its simplicity.
brian paul is currently living and working in cape town.