Paul Watson was born in England and has lived in various parts of the country, most recently settling in Brighton & Hove, UK.
After getting his degree in art from Dartington College of Arts in 1992 he started developing a body of artwork based around assemblage and collage, mixing paint with found objects, whilst simultaneously taking an intensely active interest in the nascent web.
In 1996 he launched the Lazarus Corporation both as a website and as a publishing house for his artwork. Over the years it has been coaxed through numerous evolutionary cycles.
His artwork has sold to collectors across the world, mainly facilitated directly through online sales rather than through galleries or agents.
He currently uses drawing as his primary medium in his artistic practice, supplemented with some photography.
He maintains a regular practice in life-drawing, as well as producing work in series, notably England’s Dark Dreaming from 2016-2018 (a series of large scale charcoal drawings, now collected into a book of the same name) and currently Acid Renaissance: Albion’s True Standard Advanced , which is a series in a mixture of media including drawing and photography.
My artwork uses folkloric and mythic imagery to explore contemporary turbulent social and political themes and to provide hints to imagining progressive alternative futures by stepping outside the “real”.
I have published two books of my artwork — Myth & Masks and England’s Dark Dreaming — both of which can be ordered from my online shop (along with prints and postcards of my artwork), and I’m planning a third book in 2024.
I am currently working on a large series of artwork called Acid Renaissance: Albion’s True Standard Advanced which uses strange and magical images of a mythic future of England to prompt ideas in the viewer about radically-different potential futures for my country.
I use several media in my artistic practice, but recently I have been mainly concentrating on drawing and photography.
I see drawing as a primary medium, not just as a preparatory tool or a training exercise, but the finished artwork. I always draw from life, which prevents the figures becoming too similar or stylised.
I draw in various media, including graphite pencil, sanguine pencil, charcoal, and pastels, depending on the subject matter and the themes I want to explore.
I make all the masks used in my photographic work myself, and for me this is also part of my artistic practice. I am very interested in the transformative properties of masks, and the way in which they affect the wearer as well as the viewer.
I like to use a single off-camera flash to produce chiaroscuro lighting, leaving large areas in shadow. The photographs are taken with a digital SLR but, apart from some minor tweaking of tonal levels and saturation, everything in the image exists in front of the camera lens rather than being digitally added later.
On my website, in addition to my portfolio and online shop, I have a blog - The Artist’s Notebook - that I’ve been posting in since 2008, where I write about my creative process and artistic practice, which also gives a lot more insight into the thoughts and aims behind my artwork.
Find Paul on:
- 2018 England’s Dark Dreaming (2nd Edition published 2021)
- 2016 Myth and Masks: Artwork by Paul Watson 2013-2015
Articles and contributions to other publications
- 2021 Dare to Dream of the Spring (article in Lost Futures Volume 3, published by EXIT Press)
- 2018 England’s Dark Dreaming: A Response to a Mythic Past, and an Uncertain Future (interview on the Folklore Thursday website)
- 2016 On Myth and Masks: An Interview with Artist Paul Watson (interview on the Folklore Thursday website)
- 2016 Myth and the Urban Landscape (article on the Folklore Thursday website)
- 2022 - The Children of Mab, Treadwell’s Bookshop, London
- 2019 - The Delaware Road: Ritual & Resistance, New Zealand Farm Camp, Wiltshire
- 2008 - The Way of the Artist, Grange Gallery, Brighton
- 2005 - Blind Art Presents..., The Old Market, Hove
- 2004 - Open Studios, Egerton Studio, Nottingham
- 2004 - The Cross, St Giles, Nottingham
- 2003 (Oct) - Open Studios, Egerton Studio, Nottingham
- 2003 (Jun) - Open Studios, Egerton Studio, Nottingham
- 2002 - Imperfect Future, Turtle Arts, Nottingham
- 2001 - Fascination, Turtle Arts, Nottingham
- 2001 - Viscera, the Alley Café, Nottingham