You just start to get it, then you die...

The Cremation of Ian Broomfield (07.03.1945 - 15.08.2001)                       In memory of my father


I've been looking back at my late father Ian Broomfield's oil paintings recently (see gallery below). He was a huge influence on me, not just as a parent but as a talented artist.

At the core of my own oil on board paintings and my taxidermy assemblage art, is Proust and his mantra that objects trigger memories. I have vivid memories of my father painting at home - and so my father's paintings not only directly influenced my work, seeing his art caused me to remember his funeral.

I stood with my mum Jennifer and sister Laura at the water's edge near our home in Emsworth, Hampshire. It's an idyllic spot by the harbour, and we had envisaged dad's ashes being gently blown out to sea on a breeze. What actually happened was, when I turned over the urn they fell out at my feet in a lump - which I had to nudge with my foot, only for it to land in the water with a resounding 'plop'!

Each of us stood there, stifling laughter, not really knowing how to act. But then my dad always had a wry sense of humour and I think he would have laughed out loud!

The words in the title of this Blog "you just start to get it, then you die..." are what my dad said to me three hours before he passed away. It seems a fitting tribute to remember his words here.

So, the first of my dad Ian's paintings (below) was done in the 1970s at Emsworth Harbour where his ashes were 'scattered'. I love it. The next painting in the gallery is one I created recently 'The Cremation of Ian Broomfield, in memory of my father'. 

Owls are symbolic in death and a link to the passing down of knowledge, the boats and groynes are my interpretation of dad's painting and his urn is bottom left.

Miss you dad.

Paul Broomfield July 2018.



Flamingos in France

We have recently had a short break, visiting family in France. While there I spotted this stunning work of art on a house in Argenton-sur-Creuse.

I felt the flamingos were reminiscent of my own oil on board painting 'The Dance' which is one of seven pieces I have on show at Broomhill Art & Sculpture Gardens here in North Devon until the end of July (click here for more).

It looks stunning, and I love the fact that someone had the conviction to paint it on their house - and that it overlooked the most beautiful river. On the opposite river bank there is a big cathedral, it's spire dominating the skyline.

Proust mentions church spires in his novel 'In search of lost time', which is a major influence on my work. I spent many years living and working in France and feel really at home there. Many of the vintage objects I use in my assemblage and taxidermy boxes were collected at markets there.



New exhibition of oil paintings opens

Broomhill Art Hotel, just outside Barnstaple in North Devon, is now hosting an exhibition of seven of my new oil on board paintings. They will be on show until the end of July 2018.

I'm grateful to this fabulous venue for their continued support for my art. I have previously had a successful exhibition of my taxidermy assemblage boxes there, and been guest speaker for the North Devon Arts group in their gallery.

If you haven't checked it out yet, or perhaps not been for a while, Broomhill is home to the National Sculpture Prize, the stunning sculpture gardens and the award-winning restaurant Terra Madre

You can find out more about the paintings on display in my recent blog 'Figures, Flamingos & Fish'. Many thanks to Bianca Robinson for the exhibition photos in the slideshow below.

Paul Broomfield - Figures, Flamingos & Fish

Medium: Oil on Board

My work has always been predominantly inspired by nature but I also frequently make reference to the Proustian concept of involuntary memory.

I’ve always been fascinated by and collected tribal art figures. Depicted in these paintings are fertility figures from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries from the Dogon, Fang Gabon, Sepic River and Baoulé tribes. Carved by hand with very basic tools over a century ago or more, I feel that they conjure memories for me of their makers, their owners and keepers throughout their history. Often carved to represent the souls and spirits of the dead, those souls, travel forward through time touching those in whose possession they are.

Several pieces from my collections have seemed to follow me. Perhaps I had missed buying them at one point only for them to turn up again at a later date at a different auction or fair. Perhaps they were made by people that were associated with me in a past life and trigger a memory and a feeling of connection to and previous knowledge of those objects.

The vintage 60s/70s Gollies, whilst controversial to some, simply trigger the recollection of the safety and comfort of childhood - safe in the sanctuary created for me by my parents.

I have a slight obsession with flamingos - the way they move - they remind me of the curvaceousness of the female form and yet are phallic too in the shape of their necks and heads. For me they represent love and fertility and so sit well alongside the tribal fertility figures.

The fish in the paintings are frozen - my message in these depictions is that we’re destroying what feeds and sustains us along with the native cultures who revered, respected and lived with nature rather than plundering it for their own financial gain.

This body of work will be on display at Broomhill Art Hotel in North Devon from April 1st 2018 to the end of July.

Paul Broomfield 2018

Taking time to paint

I've taken a step back from my taxidermy art for a little while to indulge my passion for painting. There's something very cathartic about working with oil on board, primal even.

The first work shown below is 'Dogon and the flamingo' (139cm x 86cm), and is inspired by the carvings of the African tribe the Dogon - incredible art which is now highly collectible. The ancestral Nommo figure is a running motif in many of these tribal carvings.


'Via con dias' (139cm x 86cm) reflects on the special time I spend in the ocean - I love kayaking, fishing, surfing and wandering the shoreline looking for flotsam and jetsam to use in my taxidermy and assemblage boxes. See below for this painting.


The last two in this series are both titled 'Owl and the blue monkey' (139cm x 86cm). Proust's concept of 'the search for lost time' and linking memories to objects is the main driving force behind all of my art. In the painting below I'm examining where the natural world and spirit world cross over.


Art Around the Child - artist roster grows

The latest artists have been announced who are supporting the 'Art Around the Child' auction on November 16th. It takes place at the Fiat Chrysler Motor Village UK in Wigmore Street, London.

Art created by children in India and Africa will go under the hammer, alongside work donated by an array of leading artists, to raise funds for the Arms Around the Child - a charity helping to build a home and create new opportunities for HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

Curators of this landmark event are Lee Sharrock and Monica Colussi, with Ellie Milner from the charity Arms Around the Child:


Rómulo Celdrán develops his work within the fields of drawing, painting and sculpture. He had his first solo exhibition at the age of 16. His early introduction into the professional artistic world led him to consolidate his artistic training in a self-taught way.

His curriculum vitae includes solo exhibitions like Rómulo Celdrán at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York in 2014, Macro in 2013 at Arthobler Gallery, Zurich (Switzerland) or Zoom at Raquel Ponce Gallery in Madrid in 2010; group exhibitions at an international level featuring his participation in Sketchy at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York in 2013, the ONCE Foundation IV Contemporary Art Biennial at the Conde Duque Cultural Centre in Madrid in 2012. His work can be found in private and institutional collections around the world.



With an undeniable passion for the art of photography, world renowned artist and video director Mike Ruiz creates vibrant, ultra stylized work that stands out from the crowd. Collaborating with the best of the best, he works with an impressive list of clients including beauty and fashion brands like L'Oreal, Shick, Dark, Lovely and Garnier along with a host of A-list celebrities including Prince, Betty White, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj to name a few.

An optimist at his core, Mike always shoots big, and is known for bringing the fantastical to life through a creative vision that knows no bounds. Using materials and mediums that most photographers would never think of, his work has been featured by editors at Elle, Vanity Fair, L'Officiel , Paper, Flaunt, Interview, Brazilian Vogue, Prestige and many more.
In 2007 Mike was inspired by a project he did with RuPaul, and he formally added video production to his repertoire. Since then he’s had the pleasure of working with Vanessa Williams, Kelly Rowland, Jody Watley, Kristine W., Shontelle, The Blonds, etc... on music videos that are both unexpected and riveting.

To attend the auction and event - please RSVP

Charity auction - latest artist news

Art Around the Child: November 16th, a selection of artworks to raise funds for the Arms Around the Child - a charity helping to build a home for HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

Curators Lee Sharrock with Monica Colussi, and Ellie Milner from the charity Arms Around the Child, are bringing together an array of talented contemporary artists for this landmark event - here's the latest:



In the late 1990’s Toni graduated from Brunel University.
After a stint training as an Ice Carver, Gallagher decided she needed a slightly warmer career path. Toni came in from the cold and spent the next few years as an Art Director in commercials.


In November 2012 she held her first solo Art Exhibition,  “The Gluttonous Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” to much critical acclaim. Currently she is exhibiting in Venice in a group show titled Fall Of The Rebel Angels II.

Much of Gallagher’s work is inspired by the fragility of life and centres around perception, identification and interpretation of the sensory information surrounding us. Her work focuses on symmetry, usually associated with positive characteristics such as good health, beauty and balance, interwoven with a macabre beauty.



Rebecca Mason is a UK based artist using light to convey the darkness within human life, existence and emotion. Her work is an extraordinary mix of truth and beauty through which she is able to engage her audience with brutal observations about life, love, money and culture with her honest, and often humorous, interpretation of the modern world.


Neon is the brush she uses to create a gritty and simultaneously delicate world. Drawing inspiration from the chaotic playground of London, life experiences,

mistakes, feelings and from the events of the wider world and politics. Her work focuses on day to day human existence. It encompasses themes of inequality, fear, misinformation, disinformation, imperfection, prejudice, blame, judgment, assumptions, truth, acceptance, power, control, chaos and wilful oblivion.


To attend the auction and event - please RSVP

Save the date - Art Around the Child

I've taken a bit of time off from the Blog to concentrate on work, but I'm back with an important 'save the date' - November 16th 2017 for the 'art around the child auction' in London, fundraising to help build a home for HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

It is a project that I'm humbled to be involved with - the money raised will help transform the lives of many disadvantaged children. You can read more about our trip out to India to work with the kids last year here on my Blog. Check back for regular updates as we get nearer the big night.

Massive thanks goes out to curators Lee Sharrock with Monica Colussi, and Ellie Milner from the charity Arms Around the Child, for bringing together what promises to be an amazing event, with the power to change lives.

Laying the foundations of art

I have a new project underway to create two significant sculptures. I'm indebted to my friend and talented filmmaker Mikey Corker who is going to document the process.

Plus my good mate George Barrett, aka Fisherbilly, who brought in his new digger to help set the foundations for this artwork. What's happening? All will be revealed in the coming months, but I can say I will also be working with Broomhill Art Hotel and Sculpture Gardens again... 

Until next time.

Exhibition at Bray Leino, North Devon

I have an exhibition of some of my recent taxidermy assemblage art at Bray Leino in Filleigh, Devon (EX32 0RX).

The show is set up in ‘The Roost’ for the next two months or so. Please view by appointment by calling Scott Franklin on 01598 760700.

The Bray Leino company is one of the shining beacons of cutting-edge creative work being exported from here in rural North Devon, and I'm delighted that they're displaying my art.

Art Around the Child - an update

At the end of this year a major exhibition and auction will be taking place, featuring art created by a group of HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India. It is being organised by the internationally acclaimed charity Arms Around The Child.

'Art Around the Child' is a project that I'm humbled to be involved with - the money raised will help transform the lives of disadvantaged children. You can find out more about this amazing initiative in the official press release from the charity below.

You can read about our trip out to India to work with the kids last year here on my Blog. Check back for regular updates throughout 2017.

Grace and mobility

This assemblage piece is simply called 'Swan'. Placed upon the prow or stern of a boat, the nautical figurehead of the swan was used to represent grace and mobility on the water - particularly in northern Europe.

The swan was a favourite figurehead by the 13th Century, and sailors also believed that the swan was the most fortunate bird in omens.

The piece comprises an 18th Century Carved Wooden fragment, redecorated using silver leaf and earth pigment washes, a vintage sailing boat, 19th Century handmade bone Die, an early 20th Century Swan's egg, a late 19th Century pearlescent hat pin and early 20th Century Nautical maps along with a Vintage Sherry Glass & perfume bottle.  

The handmade glazed wooden box measures 340mm wide x 500mm high x 190mm deep.

The artwork is sold.

A memory in time

A major influence on my assemblage art are Marcel Proust's writings about involuntary memories and senses being triggered by objects.

This piece 'Jonah Hawk' represents the loss of a loved one and the journey of their soul.

It features an antique taxidermy pigmy hawk from South America that was given to me by a friend who worked at the British Museum, pyramids built from 19th century bone die. The inside of the case is water gilded in gold leaf

The bird standing on the movements of vintage pocket watches is a direct reference to Proust's seminal work 'In search of lost time'.

The handmade glazed wooden case measures 500mm wide x 670mm high x 210mm deep.

This artwork is sold.



Broomhill at 20, and the 2017 National Sculpture Prize

Broomhill Art Hotel just outside Barnstaple have been incredibly supportive of my work over the last few years, and 2017 marks their 20th anniversary - congratulations! They will be having various special events and offers throughout the year.

They are exhibiting my taxidermy assemblage art and paintings in their gallery. As well as selling work through them, I've created a couple of commissions for new clients which has been a great experience.

2017 also sees entries open for the acclaimed National Sculpture Prize, which takes place every year in the venue's wonderful, rambling gardens. We're so lucky to have this here in North Devon - not only as an event, but as a year round art gallery and top class hotel/restaurant right on our doorstep.




Thanks supporting my art in 2016!

Happy New Year from me, and my merry band of helpers here in North Devon!

2016 has been such an incredible year, with two London exhibitions and giving a talk about my work to the North Devon Arts group to mention a few - take a browse through my Blog to find out more about what I've been up to.

Of the many highlights was our inspirational trip to India with the international charity Arms Around the Child, to create art that will become the focus of a major fundraising initiative next year.

Have a wonderful 2017, and thank you to everyone who has supported my art in so many ways in 2016.


Natural art

I love working with nature, and it never ceases to amaze me on so many levels.

My friend Simon Swallow is a keen beekeeper here in North Devon, so we tried a little experiment. We took a small piece of fresh honeycomb, placed it in a vintage bowler hat and put it back in the hive.

A week later we came back and found that the bees had created their own stunning natural art! You can see the results in the gallery below.

I plan to use this in a new piece of taxidermy and assemblage art, and also look at future 'collaborations' with these wonderful little creatures!

Bees play an essential part in our ecosystem, and along with many other species are being threatened by human actions. We're doing our bit here in rural Devon to encourage bees to flourish, and we urge you to do the same.




Art Around The Child - a visit to India

I'm honoured to have been invited to work with the internationally acclaimed charity Arms Around The Child on an art project that has taken me to work with HIV+ orphans in Jaipur, India.

Over the next week I will be working with the children to create their own art, and I'm also making a piece myself to donate - ready for an international auction alongside other artists next spring. The money raised from this project will help transform the lives of children like those I'm with right now.

It is a humbling experience being out here. The young people we're working with are truly amazing, so happy and enthusiastic - they have welcomed us with gusto and are already creating some really wonderful paintings with materials we shipped out ahead of our journey from North Devon. Later this week we're working on three large pieces.

'Art Around The Child' is a major fundraising initiative that will culminate in a VIP reception at a major venue in the West End of London in Autumn 2017, an auction of donated artwork and an after party with live DJ performances and celebrity appearances.

You can read the full press release from the charity below this gallery of photos taken today by my friend and team member George Barrett, and my partner Charlotte Hunter, who have travelled with me on this trip of a lifetime.


Arms Around The Child (AATC) is pleased to announce a unique opportunity for your art to be the centrepiece of a major international charity art auction.

AATC’s mission is to work from the ground up, within communities across Africa and India - and beyond - to ensure that children who are orphaned, often affected by HIV/AIDS, abandoned, abused, trafficked or living in child-headed households, are rescued from harm’s way, lovingly taken care of, and given the hope they need to secure a better future.

The statistics are shocking! 151 million children are living homeless on the streets. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. 132 million children have been orphaned worldwide. 17.8 million children are AIDS orphans.

We are reaching out to the international Fine Art family of visual artists, and to leading private collectors and institutional collections to request donations of outstanding contemporary artworks in every medium with the overall theme of “HOME” in mind for inclusion in a Live and Silent Auction, Autumn 2017.

Lee Sharrock is curating the exhibition and auction to include artists individual responses and interpretations around The Dolls House concept. The Dolls House artworks will be exhibited along with art created specially for the auction including work by artist Paul Broomfield, who is traveling to Jaipur, India this winter to spend time with HIV+ Orphans and creating collaborative artworks with them. 

The Dolls House, symbolising a home is an enchanting and popular toy valued by both adults and children, and found to exist in many cultures tracing back to the Egyptian tombs of 5000 years ago. The Dolls House encourages creativity, imaginary play, symbolic representation, social and emotional skills and they are highly collectable.

Guests will be invited to a celebrity cocktail and canapés reception and the opportunity to view all donated artworks, before the Live Auction commences. All Live and Silent Auction artworks will be exhibited publicly and online before the event; Silent Auction pieces will remain exhibited online for 7 days after the event.

The grand finale to ‘ART AROUND THE CHILD’ will be a glittering After Party, with live DJ performances and celebrity appearances at a major West End venue. Arms Around The Child (AATC) has a critically acclaimed, international reputation for excellence in the field of premiere event creation and delivery. The charity’s recent events have included ‘The Black Ball’ with Alicia Keys in New York and ‘The Other Ball’ with AATC Ambassador Mark Ronson in London, where we hosted sensational performances from Florence and the Machine, Lily Allen, Rudimental and Angelique Kidjo, among many others. These wonderful occasions have always provide a highly inspirational platform for the auction of magnificent examples of world-class contemporary art and design, created by some of the world’s leading visual artists.

‘The Other Ball’ in London garnered close to a billion impressions, across every imaginable media outlet in the UK and worldwide – includes The BBC, Vogue, GQ and every major UK national daily newspaper, from The Financial Times to The Sun.

Leading up to the event, AATC, and our online auction partner Charity Stars, will be running a fully integrated, international, multi-media PR campaign (incl. official schedule of contributing artists and donated artworks and interviews & editorial features with contributing artists), to drive maximum media and public awareness of the event, our artists and their art, in order to generate the highest possible auction revenues for the children we support.


Virtue is its own reward and brings with it the truest and highest pleasure.

A priceless benefit of your involvement with the charity, as a contributing artist, is the simple knowledge that your art has forever changed - for the better - the lives of children you have never met, transforming their life chances.

In every corner of the world, the power and global reach of social media is evident and more Fine Art buyers and enthusiasts are interested in seeing how the artists they support are being socially responsible in giving their support to those who need it.

Using the power of your art to raise awareness amongst your buyers, supporters and followers about the issues we face as global citizens makes a massive difference.

We cordially invite you to join us.

All art donations and related PR are managed directly by Arms Around The Child, supported by its appointed agencies.

For further information to discuss art donations, please contact:

Ellie Milner - Arms Around The Child

Tel: 07801292553

Swan song

The swan is one of nature's most majestic creatures and is steeped in history. From fossils in caves and the crusades of Richard I, to Arthurian Legend and Greek mythology. Aristotle, Plato and Socrates all believed that the swan's singing prowess was heightened as death approaches, giving rise to the idea of the 'swan song', or the final performance.

During the Middle Ages, the mute swan was considered to be a valuable commodity and was regularly traded between noblemen. In the early medieval period, like most wildfowl, swans often found themselves on the dinner tables of both rich and poor.

The owners of swans were duty bound to mark their property by way of a succession of unique nicks in the beaks of their birds. It was the duty of the Royal Swanmaster to organise the annual swan-upping, a tradition that survives to this day. 

Today, while the crown retains their right to swans on the Thames, it is purely ceremonial. 'Swan Upping' still takes place in July each year, and the Queen's keeper of swans oversees a count of all swans. However, the swans are no longer served as a meal, but counted as part of a general census of wildlife and monitored for health problems.

I'm currently working on a new swan taxidermy piece. It's thought the bird died when it flew into overhead cables near Crow Point here in North Devon. When I first saw its carcass I thought it was a dead sheep, such was its size.

As someone who is deeply committed to conservation, I only ever use ethically and legally sourced animals or re-use vintage pieces in my taxidermy and assemblage art. I hope my completed work will be a fitting tribute to this beautiful bird in its swan song.