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Paul Fletcher ARCA


Paul Fletcher was Art School trained at an interesting period just post World War ll. Both staff and students were influenced no doubt by the desire to build a creative and constructive atmosphere after the recent depredations. The first four years were at Goldsmith's College of Art were followed by a further four years at the Royal College of Art. While at the R.C.A. Fletcher became friendly with the sculptor Jacob Epstein who reinforced his already considerable interest in portrait sculpture.

In this aspect of sculpture Fletcher has found the most demanding test of his abilities and understanding. Equally it has been the most rewarding: 'I can honestly say I have never experienced a "dull" head'. Every head has the inevitable structural quality of a work of engineering save on a greatly more complicated scale. 'People as we know have parameters set by their genetic make up, sex, colour of skin, health etc.

This together with age, education, aspirations, beliefs all find some degree of expression in their forms, qualified even as one works by the mood and wellbeing of the sitter. Additionally the artist is inevitably filtering and selecting through his or her own perceptions. This interaction at its best can lead to a true work of art. To appreciate this at its finest one only has to look for example at the Rembrandt portrait of Margaretha de Geer in the National Gallery. The sitter shares her life with the viewer as long as the picture lasts. This lasting presence is the reward of portraiture.'

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