Paul Edmunds, December 2005
Unassuming is one way of describing Paul Edmunds's artistic output; understated is another. Whatever adjective one chooses to employ, there is no disputing the unavoidable intrigue that characterises this young artist's cryptic, sculptural creations. Often preoccupied with re-using and re-inventing the common detritus of consumer society, Edmunds's work possesses, to quote Tracey Murinik, a "reverberating aesthetic".
"I make physical objects," the artist once told me in his characteristically understated manner. "Everyone says we live in the information age but I challenge you to walk into a wall while you are living in the information age. It is still going to hurt. We live in a world of objects and volumes and spaces." Edmunds' work celebrates this tangible reality. Using new and found materials (bits of reflectors, broken car lights, Styrofoam punnets, old nylon cable ties as well as more established materials), Edmunds's creations have the ability to surprise and delight.
It is somewhat easy - if not simply reductionist - to assert that Edmunds celebrates the mundane. While there is certainly a measure of truth in this, Edmunds' work seems more concerned with the pattern language of objects than it is with any meaning inherent in objects themselves. His creations are not bounded by any obvious gestures, Edmunds' handsome sculptural works alluding to subtle paradoxes, where material and meaning share a tenuous relationship, and the familiar is also unknowable.
In this respect, Edmunds particularly favours Tracy Murinik's view of his work. Murinik, writing for ArtThrob, once observed of Edmunds's works: "Pieces that... might initially appear unassuming, ultimately astonish in their skill, their physicality and their quiet but reverberating aesthetic and overwhelming discipline. And yet there is also a lighter flipside to all this formal process in that the raw materials that Edmunds uses border on the quirky, being almost flippant".
Sean O'Toole, November 2003