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.


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.

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.


Solo show in Notting Hill - London's Tabernacle

I have a solo exhibition in London coming up in July at the wonderful Notting Hill art & culture centre The Tabernacle.

The show is titled 'Conscious while the world sleeps' - which is the name of a piece of taxidermy assemblage art that I created in tribute to the artist Mary Krishna. You can read more about this work in my Blog here.

It is a retrospective of my recent assemblage boxes, and will include up to twenty individual works of art that each tell their own story. My work follows the thinking of Marcel Proust, the early 20th century novelist who wrote ‘In search of lost time (À la Recherche du Temps Perdu)’, which examines the concept of a memory triggered by an object.

After the success of the recent Contemporary Vanitas exhibition curated by Lee Sharrock and Hamish Jenkinson at the Lights of Soho gallery, it is great to have the opportunity to bring more of my work to a London audience.

I seek out antique taxidermy, or ethically sourced modern pieces, along with vintage objects that I've collected over the years - adorning them with gold & silver, and bringing them together to provoke thought and imagination of their symbolic meanings. I’m passionate about our wildlife and the environment, and would never harm any creature, and I have made it my mission to re-use as much material as possible.

'Conscious while the world sleeps' runs from July 13th - 16th 2016, 12pm - 9pm, at The Tabernacle, 35 Powis Square, off Portobello Road, London W11 2AY - directions here.

Contemporary Vanitas exhibition film launched

A short film has been released showcasing the Contemporary Vanitas exhibition at the Lights of Soho gallery in London that's open until June 25th. My taxidermy assemblage piece 'Remembrance' is on display along with the work of 15 other contemporary artists.

Follow all the updates using the hashtag #contemporaryvanitas on social media.

Lights of Soho exhibition now open

I went to the packed private view last night for the 'Contemporary Vanitas' exhibition curated by Saatchi's Lee Sharrock at the cool Lights of Soho, London's first light art gallery.

I've created a new taxidermy assemblage piece called 'Remembrance' for the show's theme of 'memento mori', and it's on display with a stunning array of work from some of the UK's leading contemporary artists from now until June 25th - 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. Do check it out if you can; the Lights of Soho Gallery is at 35 Brewer Street, London W1 0RX.

It was good to to talk to Lee about her show, and meet fellow artists like Jimmy Galvin - his piece 'Death Disco' is in the front window of the gallery.

The gallery is set over two floors with a basement that feels like a 1960s jazz club, and there was a real buzz about the place, with the cocktails flowing and photographers snapping away as everyone checked out the art and chatted to friends old and new. Social media has been in full flow (#contemporaryvanitas) and the exhibition is getting some great coverage.

Artists exhibiting alongside me are: Alexander James, Alt-Ego, Derrick Santini, Hannah Matthews, Jeroen Gordijn, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis and Toni Gallagher.



Contemporary Vanitas - London exhibition

I'm exhibiting in London from Thursday, with a new  illuminated assemblage piece of taxidermy art called 'Remembrance' for the Contemporary Vanitas show at the Lights of Soho gallery in Soho. I'm delighted to be alongside some of the UK's leading contemporary artists for the exhibition, curated by Saatchi's Lee Sharrock, that runs from May 26th to June 25th.

'Remembrance' contains a 19th century human skull & padlock, antique whale vertebrae, Macaw parrot wing & head. In the detail you'll find red sealing wax, antique engraved sherry glasses, old bone dice and clay marbles. The box itself is covered with water gilt silver leaf burnished using a piece of polished agate, while the inside is verre eglomise with 23 3/4 karat gold leaf. Dimensions of the handmade wooden box are 995mm high x 995mm wide x 300mm deep.

You can read & see more by clicking here.

North Devon Arts - an evening with Paul Broomfield

A massive thank you to North Devon Arts and Broomhill Art Hotel for inviting me along as their guest speaker last night, to talk about my work as a taxidermy & assemblage artist and painter.

It was the first time I've done anything like this, and I couldn't have done it without my good friend and former ITV News reporter Pete Robinson who interviewed and guided me with a calm, reassuring style.

I think more than 50 people came along, and we started about 8pm and went on for more than 2 hours with questions from the floor after the main interview and showing my film - then chatting to some really interesting folk before we all headed off into the fog-bound North Devon countryside. If you'd like to see my short film again you can watch it on YouTube here.

A selection of my work is currently on display at Broomhill should you want to take more time to look at it. Thanks again for having me, your support really is appreciated and it's an experience I'm glad to have got under my belt!

Remembrance, revealed

I'm excited to be exhibiting in London later this month alongside some of the UK's leading contemporary artists; to be selected to take part is very cool.  I've created a new illuminated assemblage piece of taxidermy art called 'Remembrance' for the Contemporary Vanitas show in Soho which starts on May 26th (full press release below).

'Remembrance' contains a 19th century human skull & padlock, antique whale vertebrae, Macaw parrot wing & head. In the detail you'll find red sealing wax, antique engraved sherry glasses, old bone dice and clay marbles. The box itself is covered with water gilt silver leaf burnished using a piece of polished agate, while the inside is verre eglomise with 23 3/4 karat gold leaf. Dimensions of the handmade wooden box are 995mm high x 995mm wide x 300mm deep.

You can see 'Remembrance' in the photo gallery at the bottom of this page, with pictures taken by the incredibly talented Gemma Varney.

Press release

London’s leading light art gallery is pleased to announce their next show in collaboration with Lee Sharrock, Contemporary Vanitas, a look at vanity and mortality. Featuring 16 contemporary artists, the exhibition, which launches 26th May, will showcase the artists own interpretations of the Vanitas and features iconic memento mori symbols such as skulls, butterflies, and fruit, as well as more abstract interpretations in the form of celebrity portraiture and the written word in the form of neon.

Contemporary Vanitas will feature new artists and Lights of Soho favourites including: Alexander James, Alt-Ego, Derrick Santini, Hannah Matthews, Jeroen Gordijn, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Paul Broomfield, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis and Toni Gallagher.

Playing on the Latin word for vanity, Vanitas is a metaphor for the meaninglessness of earthly life and transient nature of earthly goods and pursuits. Vanitas artworks were common in the 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish still life painting, and were often created as metaphors for human achievements, as well as serving as reminders of human mortality. Memento Mori symbols of death, materialism, spirituality, earthly pleasure, temptations and corporality often featured.

Curator Lee Sharrock states, “I’ve always had a macabre fascination with the Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th century, and was intrigued to see how contemporary artists would interpret the enduring themes of mortality and vanity.”

Each artist’s contribution provides an individual interpretation of the Vanitas theme; Alexander James’ beautiful C-Type print evokes Old Master Vanitas still life paintings; Alt-Ego has created a bespoke skulls series reflecting upon mortality and vanity, whilst Jimmy Galvin’s witty ‘Death Disco’ features a skull and disco ball in a contemporary reworking of the traditional Skull memento mori.

Nancy Fouts’ ‘Exit Jesus’ features the reincarnated figure of Jesus embracing the cross of the ‘x’ in Exit; Fouts states: “Vanity of Vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity” quoting Ecclesiastes 12:8. She continues, “My Exit sight represents corporality and the idea of Jesus being reincarnated in a modern era of neon signs and overwhelmingly constant communication.”

Pure Evil’s new ‘Angels Never Die’ portraits of departed screen idols crowned with neon halos is inspired by Marle Dietrich. Pure Evil commented: “After 1945, Marlene Dietrich's attitude towards her native Germany remained shaky and it was not until after the fall of the Berlin Wall that she began to warm again to her homeland and especially her home town, Berlin. Shortly before her death, she expressed her desire to be buried in Berlin, in the very same cemetery as her mother. Her funeral, on 16 May, 1992, broadcast live on German television, was attended by thousands of fans. Her grave overflowed with flowers and wreaths from fans and admirers from all over the world. One of these wreaths, given by Wim Wenders, the director of Wings of Desire read, "Angels Never Die”. 

The show, curated by Lee Sharrock and Lights of Soho founder and curator Hamish Jenkinson, will bring together their two different eyes for art in a singular show which narrates the vanity which has overtaken our digital world.

“It’s great to work closely again with Lee, whom is a great friend to myself and the gallery, and bring together this new show which will certainly impress members and guests,” states Hamish Jenkinson. He continues, “The show will be a fun play on today’s society who are embracing their own vanity with selfies, social media and the art of oversharing.”

Contemporary Vanitas will be on from 26th May – 25th June at Lights of Soho.

Talk talk - an evening with taxidermy artist Paul Broomfield

In a first for me, I will be giving a talk at Broomhill Art Hotel on the evening of Wednesday May 11th 2016 for the North Devon Arts group. I will be interviewed in-front of the audience by my friend & award-winning journalist Pete Robinson, about my work as a contemporary taxidermy artist.

A selection of my a assemblage boxes and original semi-abstract paintings are currently on display at Broomhill, plus it is also hosting the prestigious 2016 National Sculpture Prize.

North Devon Arts are running an open studio event in the area in September - you can find more information about entering (closing date May 1) and what's on & where through their website here.

paul broomfield




London calling - new TAXIDERMY ASSEMBLAGE ART for major exhibition

My art has been selected for the prestigious 'Contemporary Vanitas' show at the Lights of Soho Gallery in London from next month. It is an honour to have been chosen by exhibition curator Lee Sharrock, director of Global Creative PR for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, to take part alongside an esteemed array of leading contemporary artists.

The theme for the event is 'memento mori' - the Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, related to the perceived vanity of earthly life, our possessions and pursuits. This is one of the veins of creative thought that runs through all of my taxidermy and assemblage art.

I'm putting together a new piece called 'Remembrance' for this prestigious exhibition that runs from May 26th to June 25th 2016 - you can see a preview of some of the elements making up this assemblage box below. It will be revealed in full nearer the time. It contains parts of an antique taxidermy Macaw parrot that I'm re-using, a 19th century human skull, ancient whale vertebrae, along with an antique lock, sherry glass & bottles with 24 karat gold leaf decoration.

Other artists taking part are; Iain Shepherd, James Ostrer, Jimmy Galvin, Kalliopi Lemos, Karl Lagasse, Lauren Baker, Nancy Fouts, Pure Evil, Rebecca Mason, Romulo Celdran, Samantha Roddick, Sara Pope, Soozy Lipsey, Tom Lewis & Toni Gallagher.

You can also see a selection of my latest work at the Broomhill Art Hotel this year, which is currently playing host to the 2016 National Sculpture Prize.





An interview for Elephant - the art & culture magazine

The online edition of Elephant Magazine features a new interview by writer Rachel Meek about my taxidermy and assemblage art.

It is one of the leading art and culture publications, so it's an honour to have my work highlighted in '5 questions with Paul Broomfield', which you can read here in full.

There's a lot going on in the next couple of months, with my work exhibited at Broomhill Art Hotel; Mikey Corker's mini documentary about my work at the Ilfracombe Film Festival this month; I'm giving a talk to members of the North Devon Arts group in May; and I'm creating a major new piece for the Contemporary Vanitas exhibition in May at the Lights of Soho Gallery in London curated by Lee Sharrock, Director of Global Creative PR for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide - more on that soon. Busy times, all good!



Festival time - film's big screen premiere

As the art scene continues to flourish in North Devon, Ilfracombe stages its inaugural film festival over three days later this month (April 22 - 24).

Among the packed programme of feature and short films, you'll have the chance to see the mini-documentary about my work as a taxidermy and assemblage artist on the big screen for the first time. It is showing at 2pm on Sunday April 24th on Screen 2 at the town's Embassy Cinema.

Ilfracombe Film Festival organiser Julia Knight said: "We're really looking forward to the diverse range of films on offer throughout the festival and pleased that Paul's film can be part of it. There are so many talented and creative people in North Devon, and this is a great opportunity to showcase them." Other films showing on the Sunday afternoon include 'Every Dive is an Adventure' and 'The Deep'.


The 3-minute film about my work was made by award-winning filmmaker Mikey Corker, another talented North Devon resident. We have more mini movies in the pipeline. For a full programme of festival films, please click here.



Get 'The Point'

I've written before about the amazing pool of talent here in North Devon where I live and work; Mark King is the editor and publisher of The Point magazine - an annual, limited-edition documentary photography publication now in its fourth edition.

I'm humbled to have 11 full pages dedicated to my taxidermy and assemblage art in the issue that's just hit the shops. Mark's eye for layout clearly comes from his skill as a photographer in his own right, with clever use of white space, minimal text and the photos close to full page.

Like me, Mark is a surfer with a passion for our environment; he often tackles issues such as marine litter and the protection of our oceans and beaches. He lives in Croyde with his partner Caroline and son Eli. Only 1,000 of each edition are printed, and they are hand numbered collectors items.

Do the right thing, and make sure you get 'The Point'!

You can read more about my recent media coverage here on my Blog.



Paul Broomfield in print

My taxidermy and assemblage art is in print again this week, with a two-page spread in the culture section of Devon Life magazine, written by top media man Pete Robinson. It is great to see comprehensive coverage of my work in this high quality county magazine, and good to know that they support new art being created in the region.

The magazine is on the shelves now, and don't forget if you're out and about over the Easter holidays you can drop in and see a selection of my work at Broomhill Art Hotel. With the stunning Spring weather we're having it's a great place to visit as you can wander round the sculpture gardens and grab a bite to eat.

You can now find the print version of Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice magazine in local shops which also features my art, plus limited edition copies of my self-published book of work are available to buy at Broomhill - you'll receive a complimentary copy when you purchase my art.

Parrot After Dürer - tribute to an icon

Albrecht Dürer was a painter, printmaker and theorist from Germany (1471 - 1528). While his watercolours mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, he became renowned for his woodcuts that had a darker edge and took art in a new direction.

Parrot - After Dürer is a hand-made wooden assemblage box (480w x 670h x 250d mm), featuring vintage taxidermy parrot wing and head, antique bottles, antiqued glass, gesso, paper, metal and stone.

This piece is inspired by Dürer's stunning 'Wing of a Roller' watercolour and gouache painting from 1512, which exhibits vibrant colour & detail of a European blue-bellied roller's wing. The original is held by the Albertina Museum, Vienna.

New film documents work of Paul Broomfield taxidermy & assemblage artist

I'm delighted to release today the first short film by award-winning documentary maker Mikey Corker that follows my work as a taxidermy and assemblage artist.

The film is available to watch and share on both Vimeo and YouTube, and it examines where I find inspiration for my work, and why I started out on this creative journey. The featured piece towards the end of the film is a new work 'Conscious while the world sleeps', which was created as a tribute to one of my favourite paintings by Mary Krishna.

North Devon based filmmaker Mikey Corker has won awards for his work at the prestigious Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawaii for a documentary about the British big wave surfer Andrew Cotton, and from the National Trust at the annual London Surf Film Festival.

Crazy Horse - a native American inspiration

This recent piece of assemblage art is inspired by the memory of the legendary warrior Crazy Horse. He was leader of the Lakota Sioux, celebrated for his battle skills as well as his efforts to preserve Native American traditions and way of life.

It features a horse skull and antique taxidermy Kingfisher, a symbol of giving a horse speed into battle; a 19th Century ink pot and blue parrot feather represent the hollow words of the treaty with the Americans.

Crazy Horse resisted efforts to force the Sioux on to reservations, and fought alongside Sitting Bull and others in the American-Indian wars, and was instrumental in the defeat of George Armstrong Custer’s forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. After surrendering to federal troops in 1877, he was killed amid rumours of a planned escape.