Paula Barnard-Groves (b.1969)

Biography

Paula Barnard-Groves has been a sculptor for 30 years. She lives and works in North London, using new and reclaimed metal for her sculptural creations. For 25 years Paula lived in Rochester, having gained a higher national diploma in interior design in 1989 from the Kent Institute of Art and Design (now the University for the Creative Arts). She enjoyed the town's industrial feel and its history, especially that of Chatham Dockyard, and it was in that thriving artistic community that she initially grew her practice, from having trained as a welder after finishing her studies and wanting a more hands-on creative expression.

Paula has embarked on a sculptural journey of scale and styles, often working in collaborations with other artists and receiving commissions for the 2012 Olympics, Foster and Partners, being featured on the BBC and being a resident artist at Diamond Light Source, the UK synchrotron in Oxfordshire. In 2018, Paula's largest collaborative project to date won an award for creative excellence in Europe.

"There is something satisfying about unleashing the beauty from discarded items and placing them alongside new materials. The story becomes complex, unusual, multi-layered." - Paula Barnard-Groves, 2019

Paula's work is heavily focused on Process: getting into close contact with materials, handling them and getting to know them. Her artwork often begins with recycled metal, but whether it's new or used, each part is selected for its own unique appearance. A deep beauty can be found in the patina of a surface, in the knocks and dents that pit a sheet of steel, finished to a sheen or left untouched. Paula's work is at times perfectly polished, and at others, marks and scars are allowed to show through, as a visible story left untouched and open to interpretation. Paula's sculptures continue to evolve once they have been completed - whether in an indoor or outdoor setting, they continue adapting to environmental elements, unravelling and everchanging their narrative.