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Born in Dorset, Paul West received BA (Hons) 1st class in Graphic Design from the London College of Printing in 1987. Alongside graphic design he studied life-drawing, silk-screen printing, litho and etching, ‘visceral’ mark-making techniques which he feels have been a defining influence on his approach to design and more subsequently his art.

After college Paul went on to co-found Form - a design and branding studio with roots entrenched in his love of music – working on scores of iconic record covers for bands including Cocteau Twins (4AD), Depeche Mode (Mute) and Elbow (Fiction).




Alongside music, Paul's design arena of choice has always had close links to the arts. In previous employment he worked with the Whitechapel Art Gallery and at Form he collaborated with artists Alan Charlton, Eugenio Dittborn and Damien Hirst on his first solo exhibition at the ICA.


Through his company he was the creative force behind the look and layout of Bob Gruen's photobook 'The Clash' (2001), Mick Rock's visual history of Glam Rock 'Blood and Glitter' (2001), and has collaborated extensively with photographer Rankin on books, record sleeves, events, television, websites and publishing projects.


In 2010, a sense of restlessness prompted Paul to pursue his love of painting. It was during one of his frequent visits to Northumberland that Paul began to paint en plein air, and this is when he realised that the synergy of the landscape with his own emotions, while surrounded by nature, was the experience that most inspired him.




"My favourite landscape is Northumberland. The awareness of space, the incredible cloud formations (as the winds of the North Sea clash with the rolling hills of the Cheviots along the Anglo-Scottish border) and the worn, rough-hewn features that echo the County’s past is overwhelmingly inspirational. There is a beauty of seclusion in Northumbria like no other county, which counteracts the fast-paced life of London".


Paul's work is characterised by a fascinating polarity between a very graphic, monochrome aesthetic in his charcoal drawings and a more expressive, colourful fluidity in his paintings, yet is linked by its intensive focus on nature. 


I'm drawn to low horizons, huge skies and the mystery of woodlands and lone trees. It’s in the solitude of nature I feel an energy - and I want to record that moment – as that moment makes me feel most alive.


Paul's works reflect a sense of wonder with nature - brooding, balancing quietness with frenetic bursts of vitality. Using his preferred base of wooden board (which he finds to be "more organic and utilitarian") Paul's use of paint interacts with, and is informed by, its natural texture – contrasting impasto application with the roughness of the grain.

Interestingly, Paul notes that his favourite format for painting is 12"x12" - precisely the size of a vinyl record cover, subliminally uniting his two loves of painting and music.


Summer 2011 - Candid Arts group exhibition, Candid Arts Trust, London

Summer 2013 - Candid Arts group exhibition, Candid Arts Trust, London

Winter 2014 - Into The Frame — A synaesthetic Interraction, Red Gallery, London  

Autumn 2014 - ArtFinder popup Gallery - Blackall Studios, London  

Spring 2015 - Urban vs Rural, group exhibition, Brick Lane Gallery, London.

Summer 2015 - Cambridge Art Fair

Winter 2015 - HIVE 15 - Harrogate

Summer 2016 - New Artists Fair, Truman Brewery, London