Collapse IV Oil on canvas 100x200 Paul Clark

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From clinical practice to canvas: MA Painting student’s exhibition highlights NHS experience

Dr Paul Clark is a retired palliative care doctor who is currently studying for a Masters at Arts University Plymouth
<p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth MA Painting student Dr Paul Clark has curated ‘Once the applause faded’, a collaborative exhibition at Torbay Hospital’s HeArts Gallery. Working alongside artist in residence at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Helen Snell, the exhibition delves into the interface between art and medical science.</p> <p dir="ltr">Running from November 2023 until 15 January 2024, the exhibition explores the challenges and rewards of working in the NHS and questions the meaning of clinical objects in different contexts. Dr Paul Clark, who up until recently worked as a palliative care doctor at Rowcroft Hospice in Torquay, curated the exhibition responding to the clinical environment of the HeArts Gallery in Torbay Hospital.</p> <p dir="ltr">Paul is currently working as a medical examiner while studying MA Painting at Arts University Plymouth. He is interested in the interplay of science and art and how each can inform and inspire the other when considering the human condition.</p>
Dr Paul Clark

Dr Paul Clark

<p dir="ltr">Paul said, “I met with artist in residence Helen Snell to collaborate on the joint exhibition exploring the neglected spaces in the clinical setting post pandemic. This led to further work exploring our mutual love of the sea and a joint proposal for several ‘sci art’ open calls.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The project has been a useful exercise responding to the clinical environment with a great deal of positive feedback from NHS staff who understand that the exhibition is a response and dialogue about their work.”<br /></p>
Saving Persephone Oil on canvas 100x100 Paul Clark jpeg

Saving Persephone. Oil on canvas. 100x100cm by Dr Paul Clark

<p dir="ltr">Working in both figurative and abstract drawing and painting and combining his background in medicine with art, Paul’s work aims to question the meaning of clinical objects when utilised or located in a non-clinical setting.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m informed by my work as a doctor and inspired by other artists exploring the interconnectedness between science and art. I would describe myself as a research based artist. I am interested in semiotics and how contemporary painting and other forms of art can be utilised to engage and create a questioning dialogue about current medical practice with an audience.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am open to all forms of making but currently I have returned to oil painting after many years as much of my recent work utilises still life as a starting point. My work usually begins with writing and drawing. I use photographs and video and performance, if it captures what I am trying to relate better than a still image. I am trying to find an interesting way to utilise 3D scanning in my 2D works.”<br /></p>
Once the applause faded exhibition 1

'Once the applause faded' exhibition at HeArts Gallery, Torbay Hospital

<p dir="ltr">Paul has previously exhibited throughout Devon, including at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton; Art Haven, Exeter and a previous solo exhibition at Torbay Hospital. In October 2023, Paul’s painting ‘Cocktail Hour’ was selected as Painting of the Day on the Contemporary British Painters’ social media channels. He started his Masters in Painting at Arts University Plymouth in 2023 and will complete the course in September 2024.<br /></p> <p dir="ltr">Paul said, “I chose to study for an MA in Painting as the course offered me the opportunity to immerse myself in a creative culture with open access to artists and makers in other disciplines than my own. I’m enjoying the freedom the course has given me to explore ideas, make and learn from mistakes and to have easy access to intellectual, practical and technical support.”<br /></p>
Cocktail Hour Oil on canvas 100x100 Paul Clark jpeg

Cocktail Hour. Oil on canvas 100x100cm by Dr Paul Clark

<p dir="ltr">Paul’s collaborative partner, Helen Snell, has been the artist in residence at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust since 2022. The role has been funded by NHS Charities Together’s Arts in Recovery Fund. Helen shadowed colleagues across many hospital departments and community healthcare settings, with the resulting conversations and interactions shaping the evolving narratives in the drawings. Helen uses a range of media to document these conversations and to ask wider questions.</p> <p dir="ltr">Helen particularly focused on the work environments of staff in non-public and ‘backstage’ areas, or on staff who feel invisible or overlooked in the public imagination. These works will form the basis of more involved and larger scale works to be presented at the end of her residency in July 2024.<br /></p>
Slump Oil on canvas 100x100 Paul Clark jpeg

Slump. Oil on canvas. 100x100cm by Dr Paul Clark

<p dir="ltr">You can visit the ‘Once the applause faded’ exhibition at HeArts Gallery in Torbay Hospital until 15 January 2024.<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">Did you know that Arts University Plymouth graduates are offered a discount of 15% on Masters programme fees? The Alumni Progression Award is available to all alumni, regardless of when they studied with us previously. The discount applies if you studied on one of our pre-degree, foundation or undergraduate programmes. For more information please email <a href=""></a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Our MA Painting programme is designed to foster your artistic growth, with Arts University Plymouth’s dynamic, cross-disciplinary postgraduate community offering a rich environment that provides critical and technical expertise in a range of disciplines. As the UK’s number one arts university, we offer a space in which to refine their practice and fosters experimentation and reflective engagement with issues that are shaping the world we hold in common. <strong>Find out more about postgraduate study at our <a href="">next Open Day</a></strong>.</p> <p dir="ltr">For further information or to talk to our team of postgraduate academics about the course, please email <a href=""></a>. <br /></p>