Blooming career for arty Paul

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PAUL Cummins’ career is blossoming.

The 33-year-old artist – who suffers from severe dyslexia – has clinched funding to make up to 10,000 ceramic flowers as part of a pioneering project to help celebrate the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Talented Paul from Chesterfield – whose masterpiece has been commissioned by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the UK Arts Council and the British Council – said: “I found out just before Christmas, it was a fantastic present!

“I’m extremely happy and excited about starting work on my largest commission to date.”

Paul, who became interested in ceramics as a teenager, is one of several artists involved in the project, called Unlimited, which is designed to celebrate disabled and deaf artists’ works in the run up to and during the Games.

He will use a potter’s wheel to shape and make the flower heads which will be coloured and fired, then attached to metal stems, allowing them to move in the breeze.

Paul will ‘plant’ the handmade blooms at a series of exhibitions at specially selected UK venues of historical and social significance – yet to be announced – throughout 2012.

He said: “Unlimited will let me showcase my work in some new, unusual locations across the country and open it up to new, larger audiences.”

Speaking of his dyslexia, Paul said: “It doesn’t get in the way of my work. And thankfully I have a great team to help with things including publicity and writing.”

Last May Paul took on the challenge of decorating the grounds of Chatsworth with hundreds of ceramic tulips for the stately home’s Spring Florabundance Festival.

Thirteen commissions – costing a total of £820,000 – have been made as part of Unlimited.

The groundbreaking programme will see collaboration between artists in the UK and other countries including Brazil, China, Germany and South Africa.

Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad director, added: “Unlimited is about world-class artists creating brilliant work. It will change perceptions of the efforts of disabled and deaf artists.”

Paul’s works can be seen by logging on to www.paulcumminsceramics.com.

michael.broomhead

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk