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Paul McCloskey

A Place Of Peace - Artist Interview by Ben Fillik for
Ben Fillik : What is your inspiration for creating art works?

Paul McCloskey:
Currently I’m working with Landscape although the subject is secondary for me as process is primary to my work, the process of getting out of my own way and allowing creativity to work through me drives me forward.

Ben Fillik : What role emotions plays in your Art?

Paul McCloskey: For me it’s not so much emotion but the bliss of no mind, of being open to divinity working through me, a place of peace which can only be experienced in surrendering to the present moment. My hope is that those who view my work will also experience this spirit. But it’s a two way journey as the viewer must remain present and allow the art to connect through them also.

Ben Fillik : How did you choose the subject for your art works?

Paul McCloskey: I’m surrounded by the stunning and varied Irish landscape which is ever changing, seasonally and on a moment to moment basis with the shifting and ephemeral light, synonymous with the Irish weather, this transient landscape reminds and persuades us to take a second glance at what we thought was familiar and observe with fresh eyes the ongoing beauty of creation, seeing what we may perceive as ordinary to be in fact the most enlightening. Often I won’t consciously select a particular subject but rather become inspired by how a view will change or an area will be illuminated by a simple break in the clouds, highlighting as if a shimmering treasure or jewel, a corner of a field, the side of some rocky cliff or the dynamic sweeping curves of a valley. The subject more often reveals itself rather than being chosen.

Ben Fillik  : How Spiritual aspect is present in your art?

Paul McCloskey: The Spiritual aspect is of primary importance to me. It’s no coincidence that my work from the last number of years is a trilogy series, ‘The Alpha’, ‘Reloaded’ and ‘The Omega’ as the triune is
representative of the whole, mind, body, spirit or energy, matter, ether; this is a deliberate reference to divine presence suggesting all that is substance and spirit alike that makes up our entirety, including the divine. I also consider the ‘process’ that I spoke of earlier as a spiritual journey for me. It is my journey on the path towards Awakening towards enlightenment and ultimately it is for and about my shift in consciousness. Learning to capitulate and trust in the higher self, therefore in order to allow divinity to work through me I must remain present as only in the present moment can anything be truly created.

Ben Fillik : What is the limitation(s) of your chosen media for full expression of your feelings/ideas?

Paul McCloskey : 
Any limitations are not so much to do with any chosen medium; the limitations firstly can only come from me by the level of allowing and presence I bring to the work and secondly by the viewer. If the viewer is present and can circumvent the need to label what they are seeing then a spiritual inner conversation takes place between the artist, the artwork and the viewer completing the connection and allowing full expression of all that work has to say.

Ben Fillik : What is beauty?

Paul McCloskey: Beauty is truth, a truth that is recognised easily when anything that is created is done with purity and integrity. That truth is a recognition a knowing when experienced. It requires sensitivity, openness, willingness to mediate rather than control and can best be described as humility, an obeisance to something we are a part of, that separate from it we are less, but connected.

Ben Fillik : What is the future of Art?

Paul McCloskey: Without doubt technologies will continue to influence art practice; however this innate need to make marks is part of the human condition and has been since the first caveman drawings. The practice of painting, the tactile quality of the material, allows the artist to take responsibility for all the marks made. Every choice of colour, texture, composition etc. must come through the painter, therefore during that process of creation there is complete freedom to express, complete freedom of choice and therefore, I believe more open to 'divine influence' at every stage of the creative process. As Kasimir Malevich said, ‘with the most primitive means the artist creates something which the most ingenious and efficient technology will never be able to create.’ 

Ben Fillik : What Artists inspire you ?

Paul McCloskey: 
I love the work of William Turner, how he captures the vastness and energy of landscape even in his small works, also the Irish painter Jack Yeats in particular his later works which express strong emotions. Mark Rothko’s paintings fascinate me, there is a powerful energy emanating from his paintings.

Ben Fillik : What is the poetic focus of your art?

Paul McCloskey: 
There is poetic rhythm in all that is seen and unseen, the poetic focus of my work is to connect the seen with the unseen by allowing them to merge and reveal themselves through the creative process.

Ben Fillik : Can Art change the World?

Paul McCloskey: 
Art can change people and their perceptions; the world is changed one person at a time starting with the self. Painting speaks more directly to the soul or spirit. perhaps the fascination with the divine(self), the yearning to fill the emptiness that many organised religions have left, never more so than in these modern times, is now being fulfilled and now being satisfied more unswervingly and honestly through painting, perhaps the need to be understood, to be recognised and to see ourselves represented visually, this need, this intrinsic aspect of the human condition that people have experienced since the first marks were made in prehistoric times, is now expressed and represented more accurately by those contemporary artists who have the awareness not to compromise and who have the humility to be open to this inspiration, be it divine, spiritual or whatever label used, in the realisation of their work.

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