Paula Groves - sculptedmetal.com
Paula Groves is a graduate of the Kent Institute of Art and Design with a background in industrial welding. In May 2004 Paula moved to a studio at the New Art Centre, Chatham, Kent. Larger premises meant that it was possible to diversify her previous work of clocks and smaller pieces, to include large sculpture.
“I specialize in creating sculpture using reclaimed mild and stainless steel from various sources. The balance of these two metals is the key to the evolution of my work; each piece is untreated and evolves with the effects of the environment and elements.
As the majority of the material I use in my work is scrap steel, it has a story to tell. I clean it to show the history of its life, its dents, marks and scars, and, with stainless steel, highly polish some areas. This means my inspiration comes from the metal itself; the shape it already has, or how I can enhance it. Purity of form is a passion for me; the circle, square and triangle are recurring themes in my work.
More recently I have been collaborating with other artists on various projects including a printmaker, illustrator, glass sculptor, graphic designer and a design maker. This means I have been able to incorporate other materials into my work; including glass, perspex, paper, fabric, lighting and images.”
Recent commissions include:
• 2012 Olympics countdown sculpture for Medway Council,
• ‘60 years of Innovation’ anniversary sculpture for e2v technologies Ltd,
• Medway Small Business Awards trophies,
• High Street Signage for the New Art Centre,
• Scientific themed sculptures for Diamond Light Source Ltd,
• Awards for the 2006 Transmanche-Entrepreneurs Website Competition.
As well as creating private and corporate commissions, Paula has work on permanent display at Art Parks International, Guernsey, and Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park, Farnham.
Paula has been accepted for the second year running to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, 21-26 May 2007, Stand RS 14.
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ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR KENT ARTIST PAULA GROVES
Kent artist Paula Groves is celebrating “the proudest moment of my life” after her latest work was unveiled by the Queen at the official opening of the UK’s largest scientific facility to be built for 40 years.
During a visit to Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire, the Queen, accompanied by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, unveiled a large stainless steel sculpture inside the futuristic-looking facility. The artwork was designed and created by Paula at her riverside studio in Hulkes Lane, Rochester, Kent.
Paula joined the media and a party of VIP guests from around the world to witness the official opening of Diamond after winning a race against time to get the sculpture finished in her studio and delivered to the site ahead of the Royal visit.
“I was thrilled when I found out that the Queen was to unveil my sculpture. It was the proudest moment of my life and hopefully it will help to raise the profile of my business,” said Paula.
Slough-born Paula is a graduate of the University College for the Creative Arts in Rochester. Although she initially intended to focus on interior design, Paula took a welding course as part of the Government Enterprise Training programme and her dream of becoming a sculptor working with steel was born. After years developing her industrial welding skills working for several engineering firms in Medway, she moved into a small studio at the New Art Centre in Chatham where she launched her fledgling sculpture business. As work expanded, Paula switched to bigger premises in an old warehouse nearby.
Through hard work and determination, Paula has built a reputation as a skilled and creative artist and even before the Diamond project, had secured a number of high profile commissions. These include the design and production of trophies and medals for the inaugural Medway Boat Race and the 2012 Olympics countdown piece at Rochester Visitors Centre.
Paula has also exhibited her work at the Chelsea Flower Show, catching the eye of the judges (she was awarded a commendation) and BBC TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh.
Head of Communications for Diamond Light Source, Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, said: “The sculpture that Paula created is stunning, inspirational and relevant. We are delighted with the way the piece reflects both the architecture of the building and the science that the facility enables researchers to carry out. It is the result of a close partnership between the artists and the organisation.
“Diamond hosts cutting edge research stations, supporting the life, physical and environmental sciences. This is a wonderful example of how, through art, Diamond wants to highlight the work of the synchrotron, so that the public get to know more about the science that we do in a creative and accessible way.”
Diamond Light Source is the UK’s new scientific facility, known as a synchrotron, located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. This giant machine produces light of exceptional brilliance – 10 billion times brighter than light from the sun – that will enable scientists to probe deeper into matter down to the scale of its constituent atoms and molecules. The facility is the size of five football pitches and looks like a giant flying saucer.
So after the excitement of the Royal unveiling, what next for Paula? She will be one of a trio of artists appointed to work in residence with members of the Diamond Light Source science team over the next 12 months.
In addition, Paula has several private commissions secured from visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show and the installation of her sculpture at the entrance to the new Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, the largest academy in Europe designed by Foster and Partners. She is also working on designing trophies for the Medway Business Awards, in collaboration with artist Wendy Daws.
“I love my work. I sculpt in mild and stainless steel and because the majority of the material I use is scrap steel it has a story of its own to tell. I clean it to show the history of its life, its dents, marks and scars and with stainless steel highly polish some areas. In working like this, inspiration comes from the metal itself, the shape it already has or how I can enhance it,” added Paula.
For more information about Paula Groves, visit www.sculptedmetal.com