Monday, September 17, 2018

Recollectionary - Preview



‘According’
mixed media on Linen
800mm x 690mm
Box Mounted
Price available on request


‘Author’
mixed media on Linen
1275mm x 1100mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Caretaker’
mixed media on Linen
1275mm x 1100mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Grammar of Belief’
mixed media on Canvas
1380mm x 1600mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Margymnal’
mixed media on Canvas
1200mm x 1000mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Recollectionary - Solo Exhibition - 19 September-20 October 2018 - Salon Ninety One Gallery


Paul Senyol has been exhibiting with Salon91 gallery for over ten years. Recollectionary is a solo exhibition that looks back at this history while continuing to reflect Senyol’s experimental approach to painting.

Some of the works are, what the artist considers, literal reinterpretations of older works where colours, forms and shapes inform the creation and progression of a new work. This process has afforded Senyol the ability to assimilate what he calls the ‘visual information floating around his head.’ His works continue to be peppered with personal moments in both the act of painting, where some marks are rendered invisible as the painting progresses, and in the choice of visual and literary references for titling.

Interview with Natasha Norman

I have been coming to visit Paul at his studio in Woodstock for some years now. As I turn off the main road, bannered with newer, brighter street art, and begin to meander the one-way street network the homely scratches and scribbles of the local community take over. I see traces of Paul’s early street works and also notice the things that have been erased.

He always greets with a bright smile no matter how little sleep he’s getting as a new father. Our conversation traverses the familiar and foreign territory of a new body of work in progress as I sip tea and consider the canvases in various states of progress before us.

Natasha Norman: Your show is called Recollectionary, it’s about thinking back on the last ten years of making work. How do thoughts about the past come into these new works for the show?

Paul Senyol: The works are straddling something, recollecting those thoughts and ideas and shapes and forms and colours. Some of the works are literal reinterpretations of some of the older works. I’ve taken an old painting from 2010 or 2011 and quite intentionally replicated certain colours, certain patterns and shapes. The viewer would really have to scrounge around to get the original reference, I think. But I’m being quite intentional.

NN: And how does that feel?

PS: It’s cool. I like looking back. I like assimilating. I like putting things back together. I’m enjoying it. I think I’d like to paint a bit more that way in the future. I’d like to think a bit more about the history, in a sense, a bit more about the amount of visual information floating around in my head (laughs). I feel like those older works have given a spark to what’s happening here.

NN: That links to some of the things we discussed when we looked back at your works. You were showing me images of walls that you’d done and then said, ‘oh, that’s no longer there,’ or, ‘this still exists.’ In the street, there’s a very real process, over time that edits.

PS: I always like the idea that someone is going to peel bits of wall away in Woodstock, like a cross-section, and expose layers of paint. It happens in many places but particularly in Woodstock it will be a Recollectionary of those conversations or passers by, which is quite interesting.

NN: You layer your works quite hectically from start to finish. In the process the surfaces are quite transformed. Does that mimic the process on the street?

PS: I suppose it does. That’s not the intention when I start the painting, to mimic that process, but I think subconsciously I just do.

NN: It’s a process you have an affinity with.

PS: Ja. I suppose it just comes with being very DIY and self-taught. That’s my process of reinterpretation and assimilation, I suppose. In terms of painting, that’s just the way it finds expression.

NN: Do you find the process thrilling?

PS: Ja, ja, ja. It’s quite intimidating at the start, when you just start. For me it can be quite intimidating, having this canvas, but even just having the drawing in front of me is a bit of an exhale. And then when I just start to play a little bit with the first brushstrokes that are more unintentional at the start: washes or the first brush marks, as long as I’ve started that then I can start to think a little more clearly about what’s going to happen on the canvas. Even though I have the drawing, it’s still quite spontaneous when I paint. Stuff changes. Colours change and the stuff that I’ve traced there will not be one hundred percent as it’s mapped out there.

NN: You said that having the drawing there made you exhale, with relief. But you didn’t always have the drawing as part of your process.

PS: I think I discovered that way of working in about 2011. So it’s quite a few years down the road now. That’s primarily how I paint now. To some degree I do still dip back into spontaneity and I don’t worry too much about what I’m thinking. I’m rather just going to paint and see. That’s quite a cool way of painting for me.

NN: What do you see as the function of installation or sculpture in your exhibitions?

PS: In shows previously I have worked in installation and I would like to carry some of that stuff forward. They function as reference points. I have a few objects that I want to show, I don’t see them as particularly part of an installation but they are sculptural. As objects they have a shape and form that is interesting. I’ve taken these objects out of their natural environment and put them in a temporary space that informs the work.

NN: People are forced to consider those objects differently in your exhibitions. If they had seen them on the street they might have walked past or ignored them.

PS: Ja. I don’t know if I showed you that nice, big, fat piece of sidewalk? No, I told you about it. It’s incredibly heavy, so heavy. I just managed to get it into the back of the car without, like, chopping my toes off. And I’ve got this great, old skateboard, which was my first skateboard, which was my Dad’s first skateboard. I don’t know how many years old, but it’s got clay wheels. In the gallery space there will be a place for me to paint on the wall and have these objects on the wall and then one or two paintings that I feel would fit with those objects.

NN: So it’s about these conversations between things, I see that as a theme throughout your body of work: you wrote letters to Andrew that you delivered to each other.

PS: The Woodstock Post.

NN: Yes, they were physical objects you exchanged as well as having conversations with other writers on the street: graffiti phrases that each of you wrote responses to on public walls. So the space of your work has changed but you still want to encourage a conversation to happen in the mind of the viewer.

PS: When I first tried to explore the gallery route I got rejected. People didn’t want to see my work or show it. So my reason for putting work on the street was, well if they’re not going to see it in the galleries then they can just see it on the sidewalk or street corner. So that’s how I started exhibiting. I felt my work was worthy to be seen and people might like it. If they want to see it they can and if they don’t then they can just look away. So ja, that engagement with the viewer, for me, is important. If a painting moves someone - they really like it - then I think I’m succeeding as a painter, as a creative, in doing something. Not everybody is going to enjoy it, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, abstract painting, but I think that within abstract painting there is something of a feeling that gets ‘conversed’ through the work. I supposed I’m after that.

NN: By ‘a feeling’ do you mean that through your work you’re trying to connect with something in someone else?

PS: No, it’s not like I’m trying to connect with them. It’s that I want them to see something beautiful. Painting for me is about making something beautiful and making beautiful things. If someone says that about my work then I’m happy. Then I’ve succeeded and they’ve got it.

NN: They’ve understood.

PS: Ja. They’ve understood. I’m not necessarily about people saying, “What is it?” Or, “What is this?” “Tell me what’s going on here.” There are figurative elements but they’re radically abstracted. I know where I’ve drawn that source from, maybe a book or a magazine or on my travels through the city, but people don’t necessarily need to know that, it’s not what I’m after. That’s not interesting to me.

NN: It also seems to be about slowing down the gaze. To consider things, usually thought of as disposable as quite beautiful.

PS: Ja, very much so. I like that: the edges, the margins. I like the spaces in between. Yes. That’s interesting to explore.

NN: Have you always liked those spaces?

PS: Probably. I think skateboarding initially highlighted those spaces to me: those places and those objects and those things. So that’s where that connection comes in.

We begin to look at a work on the wall of his studio.

NN: What is it called?

PS: Margymnal.

NN: Margymnal? I don’t know what that means.

PS: Ha ha! Nobody does! Only me. It’s a title that I made up. A lot of the starting points for these paintings have also been older works where I’ve changed the titles or played with titles a bit. So Margymnal is the same as Recollectionary, it’s two words in one. Margymnal is ‘hymnal’ and ‘margin’ put together. So that’s the title. Bit of a tongue twister.

NN: How do you decide on a title?

PS: I like to give them names, like the name of a person. I like that part of a title. I like a title to carry some sort of weight, as opposed to just untitled works. I like to give my works a character. The work already has character but the title, I’m hoping, complements or highlights that character.

NN: We’ve conducted this interview at the end of a long day of painting. Do you have any concluding thoughts on the act of painting itself?

PS: In a day or two’s time there’s going to be something on that canvas that wasn’t there before. Painting is exploring and, not scientific necessarily, but pretty awesome. To create something is … ja … I’d like to think about that some more.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

FNB Joburg Art Fair 2018

I will be showing new works at the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2018 with Salon Ninety One Contemporary, Booth C 02, opens 07-09th September.


‘Anecdote’
mixed media on Linen
540mm x 430mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Biographical’
mixed media on Linen
540mm x 430mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Figure Approximate’
mixed media on Linen
1500mm x 1300mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Identical’
mixed media on Linen
1500mm x 1300mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Tender’
mixed media on Linen
540mm x 430mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Thereabouts’
mixed media on Linen
1500mm x 1300mm
Framed in Ash
Price available on request

Sunday, July 8, 2018

RMB Turbine Art Fair 2018 - Salon Ninety One Gallery, Booth GH13, 12-15 July, 2018



‘Albatross’
160mmx140mm
Mixed media on Canvas, Box Mounted
Price available on request


‘Cavern’
290mmx220mm
Mixed media on Canson Montval 300g, Framed in Maple with glass
Price available on request


‘Conservatory’
800mmx690mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Countryside’
290mmx290mm
Mixed media on Canson Montval 300g, Framed in Maple with glass
Price available on request


‘Fjord’
290mmx290mm
Mixed media on Canson Montval 300g, Framed in Maple with glass
Price available on request


‘Giverny’
500mmx580mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Harmonic’
500mmx430mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Verge’
1000mmx860mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Uphold’
1000mmx860mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Seaside’
290mmx220mm
Mixed media on Canson Montval 300g, Framed in Maple with glass
Price available on request

‘Pollen’
430mmx500mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Plausible’
420mmx400mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Plans’
160mmx140mm
Mixed media on Canvas, Box mounted canvas
Price available on request

‘June’
690mmx600mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Winnow’
600mmx690mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

‘Withdraw’
500mmx430mm
Mixed media on Linen, Framed in Ash
Price available on request

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018 - Salon Ninety One Gallery, Booth B4, 16-18 February, 2018



‘Translate’
mixed media on canvas
1630mm x 1230mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request


‘Folklore’
mixed media on canvas
1630mm x 1530mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request


‘Haven’
mixed media on canvas
1630mm x 1880mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request


‘Nomadic Creed’
mixed media on canvas
1630mm x 1410mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request

‘Puritan’
mixed media on canvas
1630mm x 1035mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request


'Hilltop Perch’
mixed media on canvas
580mm x 500mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Moon River’
mixed media on canvas
520mm x 450mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Mustering Point’
mixed media on canvas
800mm x 690mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Reservation’
mixed media on canvas
1750mm x 1500mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Rosa Gardens’
mixed media on canvas
1110mm x 950mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Kiaat
Price available on request


‘Swollen Waters’
mixed media on canvas
520mm x 450mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘Taken Above’
mixed media on canvas
420mm x 540mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request


‘The Philippian’
mixed media on canvas
1950mm x 1700mm
Mixed media on Canvas, framed in Ash
Price available on request

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

'Trees Make Forests' - Salon Ninety One Gallery, Cape Town, Group Exhibition, 09 December 2017 - 20 January 2018



‘Apparent’
mixed media on canvas
340mm x 300mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Corona’
mixed media on canvas
550mm x 640mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Foreverglade’ Paul Senyol x Cathy Layzell
mixed media on canvas
800mm x 690mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Into the Woods’ Paul Senyol x Cathy Layzell
mixed media on canvas
1300mm x 1500mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Jasper’
mixed media on canvas
340mm x 300mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Pragmatist’
mixed media on canvas
440mm x 400mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Purest Pursuit’
mixed media on canvas
1160mm x 1000mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘The Ravens’
mixed media on canvas
460mm x 440mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Vanquished’
mixed media on canvas
640mm x 550mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request


‘Preservation’
mixed media on canvas
1160mm x 1000mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request

‘Ravine’
mixed media on canvas
1270mm x 1100mm
Box-mounted Canvas
Price available on request