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Paul Compton

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Project Description

Wonder Cabinets

The Wonder Cabinet is a precursor to the modern museum. Wealthy patrons would show their wealth and worldliness to guests in their homes by presenting their collections of rare corals, taxidermy animals and mechanical marvels within a visually impressive large cabinet.

In my series of “Wonder Cabinet” drawings I am referencing the strange and often absurd effect of placing so many contrasting elements together in the one space. Just like the real wonder cabinets or wonder-rooms where beautiful corals and minerals were placed next to, say, a stuffed crocodile; ancient historical artefacts were placed next to such unreal treasures as a unicorn horn or a taxidermy mermaid, the effect was always striking and oddly intriguing. In these drawings I am incorporating both real and imagined beings and amazing objects next to more mundane ones. The central figure in each of the cabinets is my idea of an “ideal trophy” for a wonder cabinet: one has a mermaid, one has a greenish furred dumb-waiter and one has the stuffed body of the Easter Bunny etc.

kingdom

kingdom is an ongoing series of mixed media drawings, prints and collages which begin on black surfaces.

The imagery is intuitive and come about from meditations on single words/statements and automatic drawing exercises. Inspiration for the series comes from a range of areas including Victorian-era spiritualism, raw art and religious iconography. The aim with kingdom is to create a kind of personal mythos, an ongoing body of work that has a spiritual and ethereal quality whilst retaining a strong element of darkness.

View Paul’s work or select an image from the below gallery