A solo exhibition by Paul Walls RUA

12 Oct – 10 Nov | Opens 12 Oct at 7pm

Waterways Ireland Gallery open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturdays 13, 20 and 27 October, and 3 and 10 November

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Belfast born artist Paul Walls, Royal Ulster Academy, is an impasto painter who works mostly in oil paint. He is intrigued by the properties of his medium. The physical process of painting is his primary concern. He likes to work on a series of paintings, which enables him to explore his subject, evolving the composition and allowing the viewer a little insight into his creative journey.

Walls’ reputation rests on his fascination with heavy impasto, textured works in which the oil paint is applied so thickly that the brush work stands proud of the canvas and become structural, even sculptural in nature. His treatment of the paint surface is physical and gestural, encouraged by his appreciation of the work of key expressionist painters such as Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, Lucien Freud, and latterly, Maxim Kantor.

Previous exhibitions of recent harbour scenes, sheep filled landscapes, sea birds and rugby players, Walls likes to work in series. For the initial work in a sequence, such as that based on the fishing fleet harboured at Killybegs, he paints a straightforward study with the emphasis on a structural composition, enhanced by strong tonal contrasts that reflects the lighting condition and the textures of the weathered trawlers. Subsequent works are then ‘variations on a theme’ – in some almost monochromatic pieces, tonal values dominate; in other vibrant colour is paramount, heightened to the point of Fauvist exaggeration and reminiscent of the expressive seascapes of the German painter, Emile Nolde. Working in the method allows Walls to explore both his medium and his subject matter to the full.