Paul Morstad - Pacific Rim Gothic
Taking inspiration from his surroundings, Paul is an avid bird watcher, musician and traveler with a special interest in Africa. Paul shows his work in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Portland, Oregon. His work belongs to private collections in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. He studied visual arts and animation at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and has won Canada Council Grants to help continue his practice. Born and raised in the western provinces of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Paul moved east to Montreal for 10 years to work for the National Film Board of Canada where he directed short, hand-drawn, animated films. His longing for the Pacific Rim brought him back west, to East Vancouver, where he now lives and works. When not painting and drawing, Paul can be found on his bike looking for birds, or hanging out with his wife and daughter.
Pacific Rim Gothic
In his drawings and paintings, Paul maps a nostalgic, quietly humorous world populated by extinct or endangered flora and fauna, hobos and other eccentric characters. This previously uncharted wild kingdom is also riddled with industrial and domestic detritus, as well as archetypes and mythical references. Paul works with oils on vintage, nautical and topographical charts to signify an ordered human matrix, superimposed upon a chaotic, natural world. Maps––artifacts of human undertaking––unveil the equivocal human struggle to cohabitate with the non-human world. His thematic explorations touch on migration, encroachment, ecological decay, extirpation, and extinction. By obfuscating the map with his own marks, Paul attempts to create a visual reciprocity, creating tension between the zoological images emerging from the map, and the map itself. His media range from oil on panel, to watercolour, pen and ink, and intaglio printmaking processes. He also makes short animated films with similar themes and subject matter.