Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Through The Keyhole - Paula Fahy

The artist Paula Fahy has lived in Hove for about nine years and got her shed for her studio a couple of years ago. Paula and her partner at the time chose the house because although it is Edwardian someone in the seventies had knocked 2 reception rooms and the entrance hall into one big room.
Having been living in a period flat in Brunswick Road all the other houses they looked at seemed poky and a bit claustrophobic. This one had the potential of being so light and airy plus it had a garden which Paula had missed living in a flat. "I wasn’t sure about the location at first as all my friends gave me stick about moving to deepest Hove. However I love it. Boundary Road and Portland Road are so interesting and the Portslade station is only one minute away so it is so easy to get into central Brighton when I want to".

Paula's favourite places in the house are the kitchen and her shed. They knocked the dining room and the kitchen together to make more light and space and fitting folding sliding doors at the end means that it feels like the garden and kitchen are one. Paula loves gazing out at the garden when eating, working, cooking etc.

With regards her workspace Paula says; "The shed has a lovely smell and I am always really happy in it. It is snuggled in amongst loads of foliage and feels truly private".

Paula describers her decorating style as minimal. Lots of white because she loves the light with blocks of colour from furniture etc. She is not keen on pattern! The contents of the house are quite eclectic. Some hand me downs from family. Paula's favourite piece of furniture is the table that was made by Rustic Earth to her spec. to fit the long thin kitchen. It is made from recycled floor boards. The house provides inspiration because of the light and the colour combinations; "It continues to surprise me which colours look good together. I have a large poster by Rothko (not pictured) –I love his moody depth of colour. Also because the house is Edwardian it has high ceilings but very few of the original features – some people would think this vandalism – though I did not remove them- but I suppose it is the proportions of the rooms I love and not the era".

Artwork in Paula's home is mainly her own as she hangs it to see what it looks like. The picture above the fireplace in the living room is by Gail Eastwood. Gail's work inspires Paula because of her use of colour and how she layers images. Paula has only been painting for a couple of years. She has a degree in fine art but due to teaching being so full on she has only recently been committed to doing her own work; "I only did this as I wanted to teach my sixth form students how to use oil paints so thought I’d better try them myself first. Because I found them really hard my ‘practices’ just continued".

Paula loves the light of the South Coast but she mostly gets inspiration from her garden and from Great Dixter gardens near Rye. This was Christopher Lloyds garden and although he is now dead it retains his brave use of colour and life.

Paula Fahy and Gail Eastwood are exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair in September.

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