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False Memory

Paul Coldwell

False Memory

Paul Coldwell, Ruins II (gold) and Ruins III (magenta), 2018, Woodcut, Courtesy of the Artist © The Artist

Coldwell is a fine artist whose practice includes printmaking, sculpture, bookworks and installation. The focus of his work is on themes of absence and presence, often taking a museum and its collection as a starting point for research and inquiry. In addition to his studio practice, he is an academic, Professor in fine art at the University of the Arts London, a title he has held since 2001. He is on the editorial board for the journals Print Quarterly and Art in Print, contributing regularly to both.

This pair of relief prints were part of an AHRC funded Network Grant 'Picturing the Invisible' and were first shown at the Sir John Soane’s Museum in 2019. Each print was made from a laser cut woodblock and features an architectural element, a pyramid, a column, a bridge which has been constructed using sugar lumps, photographed, half-toned and manipulated to the point where the image is on the verge of disappearing. The pixilation of the imagery further distorts any possibility of a straightforward reading. They are a process of decay and disintegration. Coldwell’s intention is for the image itself to suggest the invisible, something beyond our grasp but desired. Much like a distant memory wanting to be remembered but hard to recall. The image is broken up and needs to be reconfigured. They represent the desire to see and require the viewer to bring the image into some kind of focus.


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