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Paul Nolan began formal art study with four years at the National Art School of Australia and developed a keen sense of Australia’s position in relation to the “far east”. Enthralled by the art of Japan he moved there in 1975 to study Suibokuga under Matsumoto Hozan Sensei. In 1982 Paul became a Monbusho scholar at Tokyo National University of fine Arts and Music ( Tokyo Geidai ), studying contemporary and classical Japanese Painting methods and aesthetics and gaining a Master’s Degree in Nihonga from Geidai in1986. Nihonga materials include Japanese hand made papers, sumi ink, natural mineral pigments, sea-shell white, gold and silver leaf with animal glue binder.
Paul has held group exhibitions and one man shows, in Tokyo and Australia, including Von Bertouch’s Galleries Newcastle, Japan Foundation in Sydney (2001), Nihonga Paintings at the Gosford Regional Gallery (2006) and the Florence Biennale (2011).
Collaborative work with Australian indigenous artists won joint First Prize in the Naidoc Week Reconciliation Exhibitions in Gosford, with Kelly Roach in 2006 and with Jo Anne Johnson in 2015.
“The aesthetic principles of Japanese Art which are said to have developed from profound contemplation of nature, also greatly appeal to me. Such principles as wabi and sabi, for example, belong to Japan’s unique culture, but can be understood by people around the world, as expressions of our relationship to nature.
I make my paintings with a mind to the totemic function of art. The production of my works from inspiration to execution is celebratory, that we are in nature and nature is in us.” – Paul Nolan