Paul Thirkell is an artist and educator with a particular specialisation in print. Paul studied and practised printmaking in Australia during the 1970’s and 80’s before relocating to the UK in the mid 90’s. In 2000 Paul was awarded a practice-based doctorate from the University of the West of England, Bristol for his research into integrating digital imaging techniques with rare 19th-century printing processes such as photogravure, collotype and woodburytype to assist fine art print production.
Since completing his doctorate Paul has been active in producing and exhibiting his prints both nationally and internationally, winning a number of awards along the way. Working in a variety of techniques, Paul’s prints examine the rich tapestry of life through compositions that often feature unique fusions of nature and technology. His expertise in harnessing the reprographic powers of both early and modern printing techniques enables him to employ a wide vocabulary of print-based languages that are often combined with his use of digitally-mediated photomontage and manipulation techniques. Paul’s images seek to interrogate the often unquestioned authority of scientific and other infographic, printed illustration styles to reveal lyrical and poetic qualities that lie beneath. Colour plays a significant role in Paul’s work and often tips a hat to the bold hues of Pop Art through to the glowing, musically influenced, colour harmonies of Kandinsky and Klee.
Paul has also been involved in Post Doctoral, print-based research and has made integral contributions to a number of major, cutting edge research projects including the investigation of historical photomechanical printing techniques, photoceramic imaging and the application of 3D printing technologies for artistic production. Paul is a studio artist based at Spike Island Bristol where he runs a well-equipped studio producing both digital and traditional style prints for his own purposes and for others as a Master Printer. Paul is unique among printmakers in that he is one of the few practising collotype printers working in the field. In 2008 Paul was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers and served on the Society’s council for four years. In the same year he was also elected honorary member of the Lichtdruck (collotype) Association, Leipzig.
Alongside his artistic practice, Paul is a specialist commentator on the visual culture of print and his written work has been published widely in print and online journals and books. He is also an experienced exhibition curator, responsible for several significant print-based exhibitions in the UK and abroad.
All works on this site are available for purchase.