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I have long been interested in the effects of music, and some of these paintings are an attempt at visual representations of how I experience music. Although clearly drawing on the likes of Patrick Heron, John Piper and Russian Constructivism, these abstract paintings owe just as much to the music of twentieth–century composers, such as Shostakovich, Prokoviev, Walton, Maxwell-Davies and others. Within each piece is an attempt to develop a total narrative, and to create an impression of the jagged rhythms, strident dissonances and the vibrant colours in their musical landscapes. Heavy, stormy sections are followed by dance-like themes or a scurrying scherzo, and in other places the forms become expansive and languorous.

I have aimed to avoid any hint at all of recognisable objects or familiar shapes, using a purely abstract language. However, if there are slight echoes of concrete things, this is no more than when, in music, the sound of a bell might suggest a tower, or a march hints at military connotations. No particular pieces are being protrayed here. It is an attempt to bring together these ideas into a narrative, built up of various themes and patterns, divided into movements, and hinging on certain points of tension. I hope that the viewer detects some kind of inner logic to these pieces, in the same way as we try to make sense of a piece of music, which is itself, after all, merely recurring patterns full of harmonies and contrasts.

I continue to experiment with these forms of expression. I am determined to constrain all the exuberance of these compositions within the rectangular structures of a frame and its sub-frames, just as even the wildest of Modernist music is forced to stay within its bounds. And I am also looking at how a more limited palette might imply smaller forces, just as the experience of listening to a symphony orchestra is so very different from hearing a quintet.

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© Copyright Paul David Holland 2017

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