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28 October 2014

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Painting and Illustration

Paul Chisholm painting
Detail of Sagrada Familia Barcelona

A life of painting with dust

Dust has no calories and makes great pictures. Fact. Paul Chisholm proves the second statement with his extraordinary paintings, based on specks of manky dirt.

See the work

Paul is returning to his home town of Leamington in July for two exhibitions in Warwickshire. You can see his work free at the following:

The Loft Theatre, Leamington, 13 - 23 July 2005

The Where I Fell In Love Gallery, Shipston on Stour, July - August 2005

Contact the artist through the Master Duster link for more details.

It's not your usual holiday souvenir, but Paul Chisholm travels abroad and proudly comes home with collected dust.

Paul Chisholm painting
Eiffel Tower by Paul Chisholm (detail)

He is slowly gaining a reputation for his rather unusual collection and their resulting art works. For over five years he has been collecting remnants from places of historic significance, great natural beauty and of ecological interest. These have included scraps from the Eiffel Tower, dust from the pyramids and dirt from Vatican City.

Dust collecting

He now possesses an archive of around 350 samples from around the globe. It's not just an excuse to travel, as each sample he collects is unique in relation to the time, the place and the people who created it.

The Pyramids Cairo by Paul Chisholm (detail)
The Pyramids Cairo by Paul Chisholm

Paul is also interested in the life and death cycles in our ecosystem and sees his dust collecting project as a response to this. He says: "We are born, we live and then we die, eventually turning to dust but creating it constantly throughout our existence."

Then to paint

The processes the artist goes through to create the work could be categorized as forensics, archaeology, science and aesthetics. But at the end of all the travelling and scratching about in foreign lands, he comes home to paint.

"What society perceives to be unclean and to be swept away, I preserve and present as tender and beautiful."
Paul Chisholm, artist

By using a hi-tech microscope Paul uncovers the hidden intricacies of his collected samples. He then paints the abstracted, enlarged forms and exhibits his work either as paintings or prints.

Tender preservation

The Vatican City by Paul Chisholm (detail)
The Vatican City by Paul Chisholm

Paul explains why he enjoys the twist on his view to common dust: "What society perceives to be unclean and to be swept away, I preserve and present as tender and beautiful."

If you've got an attachment to the dust in your home, or if you fancy a more lightweight souvenir to bring back from holiday (dust beats a straw donkey, right?) Paul offers a commissioning service, too.

He can paint from the dust from your home or special place to be immortalised into a print. Follow the Master Duster link on the top right to find out more.

last updated: 05/07/05
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