Briginshaw studied Fine Art at Northumbria University in Newcastle, graduating with a 2.1 in 2006. After leaving university Briginshaw lost interest in creating art for several years but thankfully he eventually found his passion again in his late 20’s.
The influences of styles lay softly underneath Briginshaw’s demonstrations of angular representations; his being much more real than the distorted experimentation of many. Briginshaw has been able to naturally inhabit a style, quickly and effortlessly with his art shining with bold colour and striking compositions.
Dismembered limbs and body parts are all portrayed with Briginshaw’s surrealist edge in an attempt to question the idea of identity, reality, sexuality and the infinite subconscious. All of Briginshaw’s work is grown from his own anxieties, built from his unique take on the world. His art is impactful and playful, expressing the spirit of the characters he portrays.
We were so proud to show a collection of Briginshaw’s work at FLUX Exhibition and would urge you to follow this incredible talent! A talent that will be developed and nurtured with love and passion, with the need to create, with the narratives of life spilling onto canvas and the spectacular work that will materialize for us as viewers to linger upon.
Can you tell us about your journey into art?
From an early age I’ve always had an infinity with drawing and creation. It was a place where I could escape to when things around me seemed to crumble; as a teenager, I used to draw and author cartoon stories of weird characters and follow their adventures. I guess I liked living a life less ordinary vicariously through these drawings. From my interest in drawing, I developed my approach and applied it to pieces of contemporary art. I studied art and design in Oxford college and then on to University in Newcastle in 2003 studying Fine Art.
There, I learnt how to take a conceptual slant on my practice and largely concentrated on installation. The work was all about trace- the absence of the human form, for example looking at how light interacts with a dust filled space. I saw this as a universe of tiny movements in the heavy air, the dust representing skin particles mixed with our clothing fibres leaving a shadow of what was.
After graduating in 2006 I lost interest in art. I guess I felt I had been creating work all my life and had experienced such an extreme environment in art school that I kind of lost my fire. Some of my peers actually gave up on art altogether, it could make or break you. However, by the age of about 26 I started to paint. It was just blocks at first but then the shapes eventually took on personality and by 28 I had a rebirth of passion for art. Then came an explosion of paintings, I have not stopped since.
In many of your images the characters you depict have elongated necks. What does this represent?
I’m not sure, it kind of just happened that way, I see the necks as a thing of strength more than anything else. It’s one of those things I would automatically draw and feel safe with. I’m moving away from that series now, although I’m very proud of that work.
You have a very impactful way of mixing curve of line with angular blocking and bold colouring, did this style develop intuitively or was there a more rational and constructed reasoning behind this?
Intuitively for sure, I can’t paint in any other way, I’ve tried, it’s just not me.
Is it important for there to be narrative within your art?
It’s really important for the most part. Most of my paintings have a story to tell. I heard recently that as artists get older they tend to become more retrospective with their work, looking back over their shoulder. I’m doing that now. I guess I have lots to deal with from the past first; get that out the way.
Are there any artists that influence your art and your particular style?
Yes, I think Magritte was the most captivating and enchanting surrealist painter of his time, his work will always blow me away. Dali of course but also Picasso’s cubist work, there’s definitely an influence in that movement.
You appear to have a fascination with faces can you tell us more about your passion for portraiture?
It seems I always feel secure doing portraits, something we can relate to as people. I like it when I capture someone I know and immortalise them in these shapes. Paying attention to what makes them unique, devoting my eyes to their lines, shapes and fundamentally their spirit.
Do you depict any recurring themes or feelings within your art?
Yes, quite often there is a feeling of loss and longing within the work. The once was, as previously explored in art school through installation, those themes are still present.
You have a clear and very strong style is it important for you to produce work that is distinct and recognisable to you?
It’s something that comes naturally to me, I’m very sculptural in my approach I think I actually see my paintings as 2D sculptures, I feel safe surrounded by these blocks.
Can you tell us about your studio and your process of working?
Quite chaotic really, I work from home and so my studio is essentially my bed. Paints, brushes, palettes etc strewn anywhere – coming together when I practice, which is most days. My philosophy is work every day, put in the hours, no one else is going to do it for your own your ambition. Sometimes I put up little notes which might say, ‘You’re working now’ to remind me that you have to graft, talent is not enough alone. My most important note reads, ‘Believe’.
How do you see your art developing over the next few years?
I really don’t know the answer to that. You never know where the tide will take you as a creator. The main thing is that you stay heading in the direction which feels right and excepting when you hit stormy weather. You will always stay afloat if you believe.
If you could exhibit your work in any gallery or location where would it be?
Tate Modern- it has to be. I’d love to exhibit in New York- always wanted to.
What inspires you to keep creating?
I wouldn’t actually use the word ‘inspires’ I have a need to create. Of course I still have to push myself, but I’m not happy if I’m not working. The concepts/ narratives come and become realised onto canvas. Some of the works have been in my head for years but I haven’t yet been able to let them out, or I didn’t know how. It’s as if I have a responsibility to make things and keep on making things until I’m no longer able. It’s a strange feeling, but one I trust.
Where can we buy your art?
You can buy my art through my website paulbriginshaw.com all the prices are on there including dimensions. I can also do commissions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and would like a quote.