Continuum: A Brush with Stroke | Exhibition by Paul Winter
14th January 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 28th January 2020 @ 6:00 pmFree
Don’t miss this inspiring sci-fi & fantasy art exhibition by stroke survivor Paul Winter!
Join Paul from 6-8pm on opening night, Tuesday 14th January for a glass of wine and opportunity to meet the artist.
The exhibition will remain open 9am-3pm Monday – Friday & 9am-1pm Saturdays until 28th January. Read more about Paul’s story below!
“I was never what some folk might call a normal child – I was more what most people called “That Freaky Little Weird Kid” I was the Geek, the Nerd, the one who never even tried to fit in.
While my peer group were chuckling at the pages of ‘The Dandy’ or ‘Beano’ I was drooling over the lurid content of ‘Famous Monsters’ and ‘Hammer House of Horror’ magazines, or reading sci-fi, fantasy and horror paperbacks and marvelling at the wonderful cover art. Some would call it a miss-spent youth – I called it an education.
While the other boys of my age were outside playing football and cricket; I was in my bedroom trying to copy all those glorious images I saw in horror comics or on book and album covers – with pencils and crayons at first, then pen and ink and water colours. All those things stayed with me through the years, inspired and consumed me, granting me the gift of creativity.
But then, in the autumn of 2006, something happened that changed my life forever.
On a frosty October night I suffered a major stroke, resulting in left-sided paralysis, memory and concentration problems, and other physical and psychological issues that still trouble me today. It also planted a powerful lie in my mind … “I’ll never be able to draw and paint again: or – if I can – my work will never be as good”
I really believed that lie – giving up all attempts at art.
I don’t tell you this to gather sympathy. I only tell you because one day, during a lengthy rehab, I found myself staring at a lump of blu-tack on the hospital ceiling, thinking: “There has to be more to my life than this … There has to be a way back.”
Then a friend introduced me to digital art.
And creativity possessed me once more …
I spent the next few years learning the skills of computer art and slowly built up a following on social media Then came another life changing event; I had become a member of the Stroke Association & was offered the chance to set up a small art group for fellow stroke survivors, and soon found myself deeply moved and inspired by the work that was being done. A new voice shouted in my mind: “Look at what they’re creating, you fool! How can you keep hiding behind your fear of pencils and paint when you can see what’s happening? Time to get your act together!”
So, I put my digital work on the back burner and picked up the brushes again, deciding to concentrate on oils – as this was the medium that scared me the most. I set myself the challenge of doing 40 sci-fi and fantasy based oil paintings, including a few pieces based on what I’ve felt about stroke over the years and put them together for my first exhibition.
My work never aims to fit in with what others feel about art: I simply paint what I see in my mind – no matter how strange, dark or ‘out there’ it might be. I hope that some few can appreciate the sheer joy of how painting makes me feel.
I would like to thank all the members of my art group – Art box – for all the great work they produce; for, without them, this exhibition would not be happening. Also, my eternal gratitude to the Stroke Association for their help and support over the years – And many thanks to the good people of the events team at Devonport Guildhall for letting me use The Cells as a venue.
The exhibition will be held between the 14th and 28th of January with a ‘meet the artist’ night between 6.00pm and 8.00pm on the 14th, so please come along and enjoy a glass of wine.”