PAUL KILSBY IS SENIOR LECTURER IN CONTEMPORARY FINE ART THEORY AT OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY AND A TUTOR IN ART FOUNDATION AT ABINGDON & WITNEY COLLEGE
IN HIS NEW SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS, FLORA NOVA II, PAUL FUSES DIFFERENT SPECIES OF FLOWERS. IN SOME, TWO SPECIES OF BUTTERFLY ARE ALSO FUSED INTO NEW, IMPOSSIBLE HYBRIDS. THE BACKGROUNDS REFER TO THE FIBONACCI SERIES WHICH SOME COSMETIC SURGEONS EMPLOY WHEN PLANNING 'ENHANCEMENTS' TO THE HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
PAUL'S NEW WORK FEATURES IN THE CURRENT ISSUE OF THE MAGAZINE
PARTERRE DE ROIS
VISIT THE MAGAZINE WEBSITE: Parterre de Rois
One of the images, STILL LIFE WITH A JAY AND A SONGTHRUSH EGG, from the series La Gazza Ladra, 2014
PAUL'S WORK FEATURES IN THIS NEW PUBLICATION, AVAILABLE FROM THAMES & HUDSON
Information here: EYEMAZING: THE NEW COLLECTIBLE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
ON SATURDAY, 9th NOVEMBER 2013, PAUL CHAIRED A CONFERENCE AT MIDLAND ARTS CENTRE, BIRMINGHAM, CALLED LESSONS IN GEOGRAPHY
Details here: LESSONS IN GEOGRAPHY
IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER, 2013, PAUL'S WORK WAS INCLUDED IN A GROUP EXHIBITION AT OVADA IN OXFORD
IN MAY, 2012, PAUL KILSBY LECTURED AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY TO POST-GRADUATE HISTORY OF ART STUDENTS ON HIS OWN WORK IN THE CONTEXT OF SEVENTEENTH CENTURY DUTCH THEORIES OF VISION
IN JUNE, 2012, PAUL LECTURED AT THE LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION TO THIRD YEAR STUDENTS ON VIRTUALITY
IN JUNE, 2012, PAUL CURATED THE EXHIBITION TONIC (PART OF FREE RANGE), AN EXHIBITION BY GRADUATES FROM THE FINE ART DEGREE AT BROOKES UNIVERSITY. VIEW HERE: TONIC, LONDON, JUNE, 2012
PAUL IS WORKING ON A NEW SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS, FLORA NOVA
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Paul Kilsby is working on four ongoing series, Flora Nova, Trompe L'Oeil, Lux and Gazing Globes. See the relevant pages to explore the ideas and inspiration for each series.
A selection from the Trompe l'Oeil and Lux series was exhibited at Lensky Gallery in October 2009 : LENSKY GALLERY
(For sales enquiries, contact Irina Lensky via her website)
Both series were exhibited at Hoopers Gallery, London, in September, 2010
This is a series of photographs inspired by the genre of trompe l'oeil, once again combining reproductions of paintings with his own interventions. These images make references to the iconography of seventeenth century still life, including the themes of the memento mori and vanitas. A further inspiration comes from the cabinets of curiosity assembled by aristocrats such as Rudolf II of Prague in the sixteenth century. Kilsby creates trompe l'oeil images in which real three dimensional objects seamlessly mix with reproductions of paintings and fabricated niches.
Another new series is called Lux. The inspiration for this work again finds its source in French and Spanish seventeenth century still life painting and the objects are drawn from this genre. Each object is painted with luminous pigments and then exposed to ultra-violet light. Then, in total darkness, the objects are photographed using a long exposure, the image in the camera gradually forming from the dim glow of the fading luminous light emitted from the objects. This process in turn relates to the vanitas theme: Dutch painters often included images of hourglasses and candles as representations of mortality and the passage of time.
Gazing globes are thought to date back to Venice in the thirteenth century where they were made of glass by master craftsmen. Later they became fashionable in the gardens of aristocrats throughout Europe, a taste promoted by Ludwig II of Bavaria who decorated his Herrenchiemsee gardens with them. The spheres, made not only of glass and stone but also of different materials including polished copper, were primarily objects of decoration and contemplation but were also thought by the superstitious to have special powers, warding off evil forces.
In this new series of four photographs, another key reference is to the Japanese passion for moongazing (tsukimi), celebrated, for example, in the famous woodblock prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon. The celebration of tsukimi reaches its annual climax in the Japanese calendar with the waxing of the harvest full moon in September. At Daikaku-ji temple in Kyoto the moon is viewed by aficionados reflected in the lake from ceremonial boats, doubling its beauty.
Three of these four globes are painted using faux techniques.
PAUL KILSBY trained originally in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the University of Wales. About twenty years ago he shifted from making sculptures to begin specialising in the medium of photography. At the same time, he began to research overlooked European artists involved in making photographs but whose work had been marginalised within Modernist histories of photography. This research, undertaken in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Russia and France, was brought together in a Ph D at the Royal College of Art in London. It also had a growing impact on his own imagery which turned more and more upon exploring the relationship between photography and the history of painting. He began to work with reproductions of paintings, manipulating them in many ways - sometimes by tearing, sometimes by burning, often by adding extra objects and imagery to create small scale tableaux which he then photographed. This body of work was gathered together as both an exhibition at the Royal College of Art and a book, The Seer & The Seen.
Since that time Kilsby has continued to focus on the relationship between painting and photography. In 2006 he exhibited a new body of work, After Vermeer, at Hoopers Gallery, London, which explores the ways in which the Dutch painter's imagery reveals a 'photographic' look due to his use of a camera obscura. Kilsby used a variety of techniques to revisit Vermeer's paintings. In some he reworks Vermeer's compositions, bringing characters from different paintings into fresh combinations. In others, he throws areas out of focus, emphasising the restricted depth of field Vermeer must have experienced as he peered into the ground glass screen of his camera obscura. Another technique involves folding, scoring and reworking reproductions to create 'optical' obsctructions. These photographs, printed using the platinum palladium process, are conceived as explorations, meditations, homages.
His more recent work continues the investigation of the iconography of seventeenth century painting, concentrating on the iconography of the nature morte genre.
Paul Kilsby has exhibited widely in the UK, including London, Birmingham, Bath, Newcastle, Plymouth, Oxford, Stroud, Stow and abroad, including Paris, Prague, New York, Istanbul, Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Perm (Russia).
Other sources of information on Paul Kilsby's photography:
Paul was a guest speaker at PhotoStroud Festival of Photography in October 2007 and included in the group exhibition 31 Studio at the Subscription Rooms.
Paul's photographs were included as part of an exhibition called Oil & Silver at Hoopers Gallery in London from Friday 2nd February until March 2nd 2007. This was a group exhibition exploring dialogues between painting and photography in contemporary fine art practice. The exhibition also included work by Mark Bolland, Nicky Coutts, Nicholas Middleton and Jorma Puranen.
Paul Kilsby's photographs are held in public and private collections in France, USA, Czech Republic, Russia and the UK