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Paul Caporn, Artist: Client Q&A

From mad merry-go-rounds to street art, from Sculpture by the Sea to nature playgrounds, Paul Caporn’s art defies pigeonholes.

When and how did you decide to become an artist?

At high school, it was either that or architecture, but in the end I studied painting and animation at Curtin.

What forms does your art take?

Many and various. Currently it’s large scale sculpture and installation. My “Roundabout” artwork involves flying merry-go-round horses made from paper and paint, and was four years in development. I’ve repurposed domestic and industrial items into sculptural and light works. I’ve created animations. I’ve done lots of public art. And I’ve designed and built a nature playground for a primary school.

Where would people have seen your work?

I’ve had a number of shows at Turner Galleries. I’ve exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea in Perth and Sydney. I’m in the collection at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. I’ve created ephemeral, street and public artworks for councils such as Perth, Fremantle and Vincent, and been involved in many festivals and group shows.

What inspires your work?

I often engage with themes that circulate notions of industry and science. I like to have a bit of fun, so my artworks often involve nostalgic play, dealing with technologies in a low-tech manner.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Doing a six month residency in Basel through Artsource and the Christoph Merian Foundation in 2014.

What role has PSZ played in helping you become a successful artist?

It’s great having consistent staff who know me and my art as well as my business.

Any key pieces of advice PSZ has given you?

Moving to Xero was great. And we did some planning in the lead-up to tax time at PSZ’s suggestion that saved us a decent amount of money.

Earning a living as an artist can be a struggle. Any tips?

Keep experimenting. Take advantage of opportunities to travel or do residencies. Keep up conversations with your contemporaries. On a practical note, I was lucky to do an arts business course through the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme when I was starting out, and this gave me an understanding of the business side of my work.

Three words that describe you…

Diverse. Distinct. Honest.

A quirky fact about you…

I’m a twin.

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