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Paul Dewis

  • United Kingdom
  • Paul Dewis is an artist primarily working with printmaking, but he also paints from time to time. He works with a range of printmaking techniques including woodcut, etching, stone lithography and screen printing, and likes to combine multiple processes to give his work layers and texture. His art education began with an art foundation, before he went on the study a degree in Fine Art (specialising in painting) at the University of East London, followed by a master's in printmaking at Slade School of Art. He says that painting has always been a very highly esteemed art form, but because of this, it comes with a lot of baggage, whereas printmaking is a more experimental medium and therefore is more freeing with the kind of work that can be produced, which was what drew him to the medium. After finish his masters degree, Paul began working in a number of print studios around London, including London Print Studio, and this gave him an in-depth understanding of the different types of printing processes. He assisted many artists, including Lucian Freud, for whom he etched and proofed etching plates, and received acknowledgement for this in the book ‘The Lives of Lucian Freud.’ After London Print Studio, Paul became a technician at Byam Shaw School of Art, which later merged with Central Saint Martins, and he has been a printmaking technician at the college since. Paul says that in recent years, his work has become more prolific, and he’s been creating with a greater sense of urgency, describing himself as somewhat of a ‘late bloomer.’ When asked what inspires his work, Paul explains how he likes to take photographs and uses these as inspiration for the textures in his pieces. He spends a lot of time in the darkroom working with his negatives to make contact sheets, and likes to juxtapose images together- he describes how he used to chuck his negatives together in a bag to see what interesting combinations would come up. When processing his contact sheets, he also sometimes likes to splash the fixer and developer onto the paper, to add texture which then informs his work. When taking photographs, he likes to capture details of things that you wouldn’t pay attention to or notice on a day-to-day basis, like wasteland, fencing, corners, or delivery palettes. Paul also makes short film works, which he posts on his Instagram. He also sometimes prints his work on fabric and has made these into neckties, which he often wears. For the past few years, Paul has participated in an artistic residency in Montefiore dell'Aso, Italy, and he’s had his work shown in exhibitions there, which he says have been well received. He also has taught printmaking sessions at Rome School of Art. Paul’s work has been featured in a number of artist books and exhibitions, including artist books he’s made himself. His work was recently featured in Fabriano’s ‘Printmaking Tales,’ by Umberto Giovannini, a limited edition book which also includes a selection of original artists’ prints, and his work has also been featured in books from exhibitions he’s been in such as ‘Pleasure Scene.’ Paul has also been featured in exhibitions such as the Royal Academy summer exhibition, and was awarded the Royal Society of Printmakers Prize in 2019. He says that the key to being successful as an artist is to keep making work- otherwise opportunities won’t come your way. Paul has a clear and contagious enthusiasm for printmaking and extensive knowledge of this medium, and has undoubtedly supported hundreds of artists in making their prints over the years. Thanks, Paul for your time and for sharing your journey!