Paul’s work explores the physical properties of stone, in particular the rich veins of colour found in onyx and marble sourced from around the world. The dark shades of Moroccan black marble or the deep greens of Rahjastan marble with their veins of colour contrast with the purity of his forms carved in Thassos or Carrara marble. He creates work on both an intimate and monumental scale, personally selecting the stone – identifying the perfect block for each piece. His work has been exported all over the world and graces many public spaces.
Paul Vanstone studied at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art. Following his graduation, he worked in Italy at the traditional marble carving studios near the famous Carrara quarries. He also spent time working in Berlin and has travelled to Rajasthan to learn India’s traditional marble carving techniques.
On his return to the UK, and for the next five years, Paul became an assistant to leading British sculptor, Anish Kapoor. Consequently, works carved by Paul on Kapoor’s behalf have been exhibited at leading galleries, including the Tate Modern.
Paul is fascinated by the material properties of his medium and has abandoned modelling to work directly as a carver. Hunting down the right materials, whether from Spain, Italy or Portugal, is part of his creative process and he loves exploring the physical properties of stones such as lustrous Iranian Onyx and deep green Rajasthan marble. The colour and veining of the pieces are part of the language of the finished form. Other work is executed in Thassos marble or alabaster and is associated with the purity of ancient Greek sculpture.
In his drapery studies he plays with formal qualities, pattern across a volume, the contrast between the hardness and coldness of the medium and the warm soft cloth. His simplified torso forms have a delicate flow and balance and yet retain the rawness and power of the original block of marble quarried from earth.
Paul has shown his work at a number of major galleries in London, including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum and his large Carrara Profile Heads are by the Sky Gardens in Singapore. His work is in private collections in the US, Australia, Nigeria and all over Europe. He has gained many prestigious awards and commissions, among them the Henry Moore Award and the Lady Carrington Sculpture Garden commission.