Paul Bramley is an artist whose work is situated within both the expanded fields of painting and sculpture. His materials are often those of the building site or hardware shop, the discarded, the readymade, jumble and leftovers that are salvaged, recycled and repurposed to create things – things that inhabit the threshold space between representation and non-representation. The selection of products such as used sandpaper, decorator’s rags and copper piping acts as an index of the lived labour of the artist; an indication of the subjectivity of the artist, providing a valuable resource pool for art practice and a personal narrative in the work.
Paul has a long-term fascination with the displacement and deterritorialization of people and objects and his repurposing of materials not traditionally associated with the fine arts is symbolic of a wider interest in the cultural and economic ramifications that globalization brings. As painting has shed itself of its former substance through its expansion, focusing internally upon the apparatus of its appearance, so it too has become deterritorialized. The notion of not belonging to a fixed territory, but shifting territories is of central importance to Paul’s practice, allowing him to make medium-unspecific work, moving quickly from one contrasting set of materials to another, working with whatever resources present themselves.
The provisional nature of the assemblage methods in the work is significant in that it is emblematic of both the complexity and potential of human agency. The wrapping, knotting and binding, the wrestle between artist led intervention and material agency act as ciphers for the extraordinary contemporary narratives brought about by the cultural and spatial displacement of subjects. Existing in the liminal space between the expanded field of painting and sculpture, the work focuses on the human need for identification and the consequences that a redefinition of pre-established identities can bring.