Paul Hartley’s work has developed from a passion for drawing, printmaking and painting which has become more minimal and monochrome. Initially the mark making was abstract in nature, inspired by artists such as Cy Twombly and Tapies. He is particularly interested in the stark contrast of black ink or paint on a white background and typographical mark-making such as in oriental art. As he is short sighted and wear glasses he has developed a more autobiographical approach and fixed upon the motive of ‘spectacles’ or a rough approximation of them. He is also interested in the act of looking and focusing on objects in space. The ‘BLUR’ series relates to the idea of seeing and of objects going in and out of focus.
Paul Hartley, BLUR pair (Checking each other out), 2019, mixed media
The artwork can be seen as representations of people, relating to the individual, notions of how human beings interact and relate to each other or considerations of how we see ourselves in relation to others, specifically in relation to the idea of blurring or disappearing. Each new meeting between two people, whether on a date or in any social situation, involves a process of trying to understand the other, using all of the senses, and a good deal of unconscious intuition or gut reaction.