16 Mar 2017
Creative New Zealand acknowledges the passing on Monday 13 March of Paul Cullen (1949-2017), a well-respected New Zealand artist and a generous and dedicated educator.
Paul was diagnosed with motor neuron disease just over a year ago and passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family.
A student of sciences at the University of Auckland, Paul graduated with the BSc in 1971, before going on to study at the Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch gaining a Diploma of Fine Arts with Honours in Sculpture. He completed an MFA (1st Class Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2000, a Doctorate of Fine Arts in 2007 and was an Associate Professor at the School of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology.
Paul was an artist whose projects were acutely attentive to the material world, and distinctive for their dry humour. In the artist’s own words: “Research informing my projects encompasses such concerns as site, models, diagrams, science and gardens.” He was able to remain productive until very recently with an exhibition at Two Rooms and a work within headland Sculpture on the Gulf 2017. The installation on Waiheke Island of Things from Geology (Underworld) is captured wonderfully in this short clip:
Those who visited Te Papa’s rooftop Sculpture Terrace during the summer of 2009-10 will remember Paul’s landscape installation A Garden. A clip of Paul introducing the project:
Paul’s various exhibitions and artworks are accessible via http://www.paulcullen.info/ and donations welcomed via http://www.splitfountain.org/ for the Paul Cullen Archive in development.
Paul will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.