Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts


Courtyard Project Space A

Paul Emmanuel ‘Chapel of Hairy Flatness’

November – December 2019

Paul has been in residency here at Ruthin during early November experimenting with pigments and printing; and this exhibition of the works produced, and the influences explored, forms part of his Creative Wales Journey.

Chapel of Hairy Flatness. The main focus of my practise is catching pigments in animal hair; on the physical properties of fleece and the ways in which it can be manipulated. My interest in using pigment references the mark-making language of animals in landscape and sheep-marker in particular. Place is an influential factor in my work as it creates boundaries. As Place and another area of Boundary, Nantyffin Chapel offers a greatly nuanced position from which to develop new ideas about how influences and settings, in addition to many other contributing factors, affect our viewpoints.

Fleece Burning. Through the support offered by an Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Award, I was able to research pigment from a new perspective. This perspective was to look at the transposition of actual place by using some of its key physical attributes to formulate useable colour. To realise this idea, I travelled to the city of Nara, Japan where the crafting of Sumi or ink sticks are still made to traditional recipes. I have subsequently imported to Nantyffin Chapel processes and methods learnt in Japan. With these new skills I have developed innovative recipes native to Nantyffin, by burning fleece and collecting the smoke as soot. This soot is then prepared for use as a printing medium.

Fleece Painting: A Film by Bevis Bowden Shot in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, between June and December 2018, it follows the artist Paul Emmanuel through the seasonal cycles and labours of working farm life. The film focusses on his practise which is embedded in the hills that surround Nantyffin Chapel.