Supernature - A Solo Show by Paul Smith at Cambridge Contemporary Art

27 Jul 2010

A Solo Show by Paul Smith at Cambridge Contemporary Art 
17th September – 10th October 2010   

Sculptures, prints and drawings of the animal world and our relationship with it.
These are no ordinary beasts!

The title of this show refers to my exploration of the natural world through my art.  The word super means ‘above’ or ‘beyond’.  This is part of the meaning I wish to convey; that my bears, wolves, hares, etc carry the essence of their animal nature, but are more than they first appear.  They are symbolic of their race, their best qualities are enhanced; grace, power, beauty, all super tuned.  I also focus on what the animal means to us, whether in art, literature, music, or popular culture.  My hare and tortoise sculptures are based on the Aesop’s fable, but also could not exist without the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons with that particular brand of devilish humour.
Supernature also implies the supernatural, which I explore in my girl and wolf sculptures.  The Wolf is plainly more than just an ordinary wolf – but I feel that the precise nature of their relationship should be left to the viewer.
You may wonder, why all the hugging?  My feeling (and hope) is that most people have a deep affection for animals and would like to cherish and protect them.  Modern society lost its reverence for nature, but I believe it is coming back.
Oh, and they are about love too, as in all the best songs.

This is my second solo show at CCA and I am using the opportunity to explore new techniques and subjects.  Some of the work will be familiar but I am investigating new directions for the future.  I am really enjoying  using new methods such as pen and ink, watercolour, prints and large metal sculptures, alongside a new body of hand-built ceramics.  I hope the excitement I felt at making these new artworks leaves visitors inspired.

Paul Smith    July 2010