For his second solo exhibition with Poppy Sebire, Paul Housley presents new sculptures and paintings that play with the conventions of portraiture and still life.
The studio acts as a depository for an ever-growing collection of made and found objects, bric-a-brac, books and discarded works. These objects and the physical and mental landscape of the studio itself become an important character in the work. He makes no distinction between the three dimensional and the two dimensional works and often refers to his paintings as objects, seeing their physicality being at least as important as their image qualities.The recurrent motifs in Housley's work are derived from art historical references and from the objects, both made and found, which sit amongst the detritus of his studio. His appropriation of works by past masters is an act of homage and a challenge, with the artist wilfully playing with the inherent romantic notions of the self-portrait.
Housley instinctively erases and reworks his canvases experimenting and distilling his ideas until he reaches something that he refers to as ‘believable’. The artist recently stated, ‘What I would like to do as a painter is to cleave a face in two and for that face to retain its dignity and integrity’.