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Show RCA 2019

Paul Rowbottom

Show RCA work

Major project:

Beyond Skin

My current work references the natural architecture of trees and the daily balancing act our bodies perform as we move through space –  between states of instability and equilibrium. Working with glass with its, almost unique, capacity to go 'beyond skin' gives the opportunity to explore the concept of 'internality'. 

The luminous thresholds, contained within, can create a sense of the ethereal; suggesting a range of emotional responses – including nuanced beauty, with a simultaneous sense of mutability. An aspiration for these contemporary works is to connect with the historical legacy of London’s innovative artisan glass activity along the River Thames.  


  • I trained as a sculptor at Leicester Polytechnic and Les Arts Decoratifs, Strasbourg. Major influences on my working practice have been residencies at the Tengenenge Sculptors Community, Zimbabwe (1992), and the Shiro Oni Studios, Japan (2017). As an artist and educator I have been active in leading programmes in colleges, schools, and community settings.

    A profound influence throughout my life has been my experience of bereavement; as a fact, from my earliest memories. Through art I have been able to process, in part, my father's premature death. My father was an artist, and through my own art I could get a closer understanding and a sense of connection in his absence. The opportunity to be at the Royal College of Art has given me a precious gift, to reflect on my practice, and to distil in greater depth my artistic endeavour. 

  • Previous degrees

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art Sculpture, Leicester Polytechnic, 1982; PGCE, University of Reading, 1986
  • Experiences

  • Chiltern Bespoke Solutions; Hand to Hand Arts
  • Exhibitions

  • East West, BeKyoto gallery, Kyoto, 2017; Shiro Oni Studios, Onishi, Gunma Pref, 2017
  • Awards

  • The Charitable Company of Tin &Wire Workers Prize, runner up, 2019; EWAAC, Sculpture, Best in Category, 2016
  • Funding

  • Sasakawa Foundation of Great Britain, Travel Scholarship, 2017
Royal College of Art