Paul Fieldsend-Danks is an artist and academic, with a particular research interest in the study of landscape within contemporary drawing and painting contexts. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Norwich University College of the Arts, contributing to both undergraduate and postgraduate Fine Art programmes. Paul is a co-director of the international online drawing research journal Tracey, and a member of Land2, a practice-led research network of artists and academics with a particular interest in landscape and place-oriented art practice. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy,
Paul’s practice and research is largely concerned with the inter-relationship between notions of loss inherent both within the process and material of drawing and painting, and in the interpretation of site, as memory and residue of a lost moment. He has exhibited in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Australia, and has work in both public and private collections.
The consideration of both landscape, and the language of drawing, have played an increasingly important role in the development of a number of projects since 1996, including:
Art and Soul: Art at the end of the C20th, exhibited at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, (1996). In this exhibition, a re-staging of Gainsborough’s Mr. and Mrs. Andrews took the form of a hermetically sealed, enclosed world, where the landscape became detached from its inhabitants in a violent act of separation. It attempted to challenge the concept of parergon that has traditionally been used to describe the primary function of landscape as the accompaniment or setting for a work.
As part of Love’s Prospect: Gainsborough’s Byam Family and the 18th Century Marriage Portrait, exhibited at The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath (2001), Legacy: Interpreting Gainsborough (Solo 2001) re-examined the role of landscape within key works by C18th artists including Thomas Gainsborough, Nathaniel Hone, Arthur Devis, and Philippe Mercier. Through the introduction of contemporary processes such as photography, and the use of recognisable locations within Bath to re-stage narratives, the identification with place and space afforded a new relationship with their older counterparts.
Kindly Light, exhibited at Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre (Solo 2008), brought together a body of paintings, drawings, photographs and digital prints made in response to sites along the North Cornish coast. The attractiveness of these sites as places of relaxation, pleasure, of visual and mental cleansing, often exists in parallel with a sense of something other, of a storm brewing far out to sea, or the spectre of hidden histories; as places of loss or remembrance.
Typical ship names such as ‘Kindly light’, ‘Smiling Through’ and ‘Perseverance’ perhaps served as a portent to the dangers of navigating such a treacherous coastline.
In Kindly Light, a particular focus was given to the small fishing village of Port Quin that nestles on the rugged coastline between Port Isaac and Pentire Point.
There is little surviving documentary evidence that supports the eventual desertion of the village and its inhabitants, but some does suggest that the village fishing company, the ‘Venice Seine’, was unprofitable perhaps due to failing harvests. Some accounts talk of the loss of all men and boys at sea leaving a stranded female population, while others suggest emigration to Canada. These histories and tales, whether fact or fiction, provide argument for the scene; they invest the landscape as both a witness and archivist for the uncanny.
- 1989 – 1993
- BA (Hons) Fine Art, The University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
- 1993 – 1994
- MA (European) Fine Art, Winchester School of Art (Barcelona).
- F.H.E.A. (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
- Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Norwich University College of the Arts.
Key Previous Roles
- Unit Leader, MA Drawing, Norwich University College of the Arts 2009-10
- Course Leader, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Swindon College School of Art & Design, 2001-8.
- Module Leader, BA (Hons) Fine Art, Oxford Brookes University, 2003-4
- Kindly Light, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, UK
- Legacy: Interpreting Gainsborough, The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, UK
- Home sweet home, Mount House Gallery, Marlborough, UK
- External Examination, Sala de l’Institut Britanic, The British Council, Barcelona, Spain
- Anonymous Drawings Archive Arhus Kunstakademi, Arhus, Denmark.
- Test Preenroll Norwich University College of the Arts.
- Anonymous Drawings Archive Sihlquai 55 offspace visarte, Zürich, Switzerland.
- Intersections & counterpoints (Portfolio), Impact 7 International Printmaking conference, Monash University of Art & Design, Melbourne, Australia.
- Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010 (Touring to Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Camarthen, Wales; DLI Museum & Durham Art Gallery, Durham).
- Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010, Jerwood Space, London (touring 2010-11 to: Summerfield Gallery, University of Gloucestershire; South Hill Park, Bracknell)
- All Over the Place: Drawing space, Drawing Place, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds.
- Market, Late Shift at Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia.
- This is what we do, Stew Gallery, Norwich.
- Masters and Mistresses of Drawing, Rabley Contemporary Drawing, London Art Fair.
- Anonymous Drawings No.10 Show, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/ Bethanien, Berlin, Germany.
- Locus 2009, The Project Space, Norwich University College of the Arts & Vision’s Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
- Triptych Papers: Drawing practice as knowledge, The Project Space, Norwich University College of the Arts, UK
- New Contemporary Drawing, Rabley Contemporary Drawing, London Art Fair.
- All over the place: Drawing space, drawing place, University of the West of England, UK
- Contemporary Landscape Drawings, Lucid Arts Projects, Salisbury, UK
- Nocturne, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, UK
- Drawing Power (Campaign for Drawing), Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.
- Impact: Painting & Drawing from the Marlborough College Art Collection, Marlborough, UK
- Defying Definition, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wiltshire.
- Mirror II Nature, SevenSeven Contemporary Art at Mile End Art Pavilion, London, UK
- Mirror, SevenSeven Contemporary Art, London, UK
- Mother and Child, Holburne Museum of Art, Bath.
- Love’s Prospect: Gainsborough’s Byam Family and the 18th Century Marriage Portrait, The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, UK
- Trace Elements, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Swindon.
- Cheltenham Open Drawing, C&GCHE, Cheltenham; Karl Hofer Geselleschaft, Western Bahnhof, Berlin; & European Illustration Collection,
- University of Humberside, UK
- Heart of England Biennial, Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry, UK
- Traces of the Self, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth
- Art and Soul: Art at the end of the C20th, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, UK
- Heart of England Biennial, Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry, UK
- Second Skin, Bedford Hill Gallery, London, UK
- Paul Fieldsend-Danks: Recent works, Mount House Gallery, Marlborough, UK
- New Talent, The Stansell Gallery, Taunton, UK
- Language and Location, Winchester School of Art, Winchester, UK
- Tallers oberts, Barra de Ferro, Barcelona, Spain
- Lenguaje y Localizacion, Sala Cultural, Caja de Madrid, Barcelona, Spain
- Imatges, text i movement, Centre Civic Pati Llimona, Barcelona, Spain
- Art in Academia, Christies, London, UK