Paula MacArthur b.1967, trained at the Royal Academy Schools & Turps Art School. She
was a John Moore’s Painting Prize winner in 1993 and in 1989 she won the NPG John
Player Portrait Award. She exhibits nationally and internationally; and now works from her
studio in Rye, East Sussex.
The current focus of Paula MacArthur’s work is crystals and jewels, these are explorations
of colour and light, a contemporary response to Dutch 17th century Pronkstilleven
painting - ostentatious still life. Solitary, precious stones are captured in the spotlight,
displayed as icons which lure us in and quietly invite us to investigate the multifaceted
associations we bring to these treasures. She selects particular specimens instinctively,
choosing the examples which elicit an emotional and a physical response - butterflies, a
gasp or a sigh. Through the slow, meditative process of painting, these valuable objects
reveal themselves to her and she begins to delve into her subconscious and understand
why they resonate with her personally. The resulting paintings also resonate more
universally; touching upon issues such as materialism, capitalism, feminism and the
environment, and broader themes which concern us all, love, beauty and the
ephemerality of life.
Exhibitions include Made in Britain - National Museum Gdansk Poland, In the Future
curated by Rosalind Davis at Collyer Bristow Gallery, Contemporary Masters from Britain
touring four museums in China, Slippery & Amorphous London & Brooklyn, Creekside
Open selected by Richard Deacon, What the Folk Say - Compton Verney Warwickshire,
Four Self- Portrait Artists - Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.
Permanent collections include the National Portrait Gallery London, Priseman Seabrook
Collection and Jiangsu Art Museum in China.
Painter, Graham Crowley included his essay ‘Still Light - the luminous paintings of Paula
MacArthur’ in his book ‘I Don’t Like Art’