Thursday, November 11, 2010

Featured Artist : Paul Hill

Paul B. Hill : Conceptual Metalsmith and Sculptor
Wilmington, North Carolina

Paul Hill's fascination with the arts began at early age, observing his grandfather work in his photography studio. He describes the experience as watching him "paint with light".  Paul started his own art career as an illustrator and painter. While exploring his creative process, he felt a brewing desire to push his work into 3 dimensions, and made the transition from acrylics and ink to metalworking about 10 years ago.  Paul's metal artwork is truly extraordinary and inspiring. He is a prolific sculptor and a positive force in the public art scene.

"I work from a "Direct-Metal" approach to sculpture...where the work is slowly built up, piece by piece. The Industrial Age of Machinery and the Art-Deco period have always been an influence in my life and now in my work. I always try to reflect part of that "feel" into each piece I create." - Paul Hill


This formed and welded steel sculpture is titled "For No Apparent Reason". It was inspired by Moroccan goats that actually climb trees to feed on their berries. Click here to watch a video of this interesting behavior. The piece is currently on display at the Cary Town Center. It was one of 10 finalists for the 2010-2011 Cary Visual Art Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. Part of the appeal of Paul's work is its humorous tilt. This piece will stop you in your tracks, make you look at the person next to you and say "...what?..."  You are moved to figure out the meaning of this strange situation. Paul says he enjoys making "art that challenges people." Aside from creating work that is compelling conceptually, his craftsmanship and technical skill are top notch and are an excellent vehicle for his whimsical ideas. It is nice to see a metalworker creating such complete works of art, and Paul is very productive as well.

"Straining to Be" by Paul Hill
Paul starts mapping out his hollow forms by making chalk drawings on his table. He works out basic proportions and compositions as he "captures the character" of his subject matter in silhouette.  From the drawing Paul builds a 3 dimensional steel armature and makes any desired modifications to the form. Next he adds the sheet metal skin, which is hammer formed section by section. 

     "Southern Hospitality" was purchased by Residents of Old Wilmington and is being donated to the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. 

"This piece is one of my favorites, in that the Venus Fly Trap is very native to the Wilmington, NC area. The stems are steel and the plant tops are made from colored fused glass." - Paul Hill

"Absolute Uncertainty" by Paul Hill
"The passage of time slowly reveals our inner and outer blemishes...This is the first piece in a series of 5 sculptures...with the intent to involve the observer both physically and physiologically." - Paul Hill

Paul's "Insatiable" Series addressing social issues of consumption and natural resources.

"Sentient" by Paul Hill

Please take a moment to visit Paul's online portfolio and learn more about his incredible talent. He is available for commission work and public art projects, and has several pieces for sale on his website. He is an outstanding metalsmith and a thoughtful artist.