The Body between Form and Emptiness: Wooden Sculptures by Paul Kaptein

On Art and Aesthetics

The practice of Paul Kaptein – an artist from Perth, Australia – utilises ideas of time, space, process and gesture to explore “the body inhabiting the fluid space between form and emptiness”. Most of Paul’s hand carved wooden pieces are in the middle of two modes of being – a stable, static appearance and some kind of mysterious state characterised by flexibility and fluctuation. Necks are elongated, faces duplicated, torsos disturbed; we see hollow hoods like the habits of monks, holes like the action of termites. The titles are intriguing – “With the Poise of One Entering a Black Hole for the Third Time”, “Every Breath, A Dying Star”.

“I started carving as a sort of reaction to computer based work that I’d be doing for the previous 6-7 years,” says Paul. “I saw it as old school, slow and without the luxury of an undo button. I taught myself as there…

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