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10 Questions with Paul Edmunds

Posted on 29 January 2021

Primarily a sculptor, Paul Edmunds works often feature unusual materials and labour-intensive practice creating works that focus on form, texture, repetition and detail. He converts everyday objects such as skateboard wheels, cable ties and PVC copper wire into aesthetic objects highlighting his painstaking, cumulative creative process.

He has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad, and his work is found in many private and public collections in SA, as well as overseas, notably in the Museum of Modern Art. He has also produced large-scale commissions for Nandos (2014) and MTN (2005) and won the Tollman Award in 2007.

Paul Edmunds, Foam, 2009

If not art, what would you do?

It's hard to say since I've become increasingly unemployable. Maybe something outdoorsy.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I really just like working with my hands and I'm often interested in solving very small technical and formal problems I create for myself. What appears to be my inspiration is often just a large excuse for doing that!

What's your secret obsession?

It's no secret, but I love reading and could while away weeks with my nose in a book if it didn't make me so sleepy.

Paul Edmunds, Lion, 2015
Lion, 2015, Bronze, skateboard wheel, hardware, Approx. 17 x 13 x 37cm

Do you have a creative muse?

Just going to work is muse enough for me.

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven't yet?

From time to time I dabble with music and would maybe have liked to spend more time with that earlier in my life.

Favorite time of the day?

I like all times, but I've always been an early riser, so I guess I like early mornings.

Paul Edmunds, Iso, 2018
Iso, 2018, Bronze 210 x 250mm

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can't live without in your studio?

It's a tool in the broadest sense: cut 'n paste. I use this both on a computer - drawing and writing - and in my physical work: re-arranging and repeating. One of the most important skills I learned while studying and while practising still, is the ability to learn to do things.

Favourite or most inspirational place in South Africa?

I have a low pleasure threshold and am generally content where I am, but I do feel a little extra bit alive in KZN with all that irrepressible sub-tropical growth and decay.

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating an artwork?

That varies from work to work. Sometimes I struggle to start things and have to kind of trick myself into doing it.

What's the best creative advice you've ever received?

The painter Andrew Verster told me when I was much much younger: if someone asks you if you can do something, say yes regardless of the truth and figure it out afterwards.

View Paul Edmunds's work and follow him on Instagram.

Paul Edmunds, Season, 2012
Season, 2012, Stone, PVC-insulated copper wire, 14 x 15.5 x 13cm




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