Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview with Paul Houghton

Paul Houghton

Ceramic Mosaic Artist

We are introducing the ceramic mosaic work of artist Paul Houghton to the gallery this week. Inspired by music, sport and pop-culture, particularly the Manchester music scene, the artist recreates iconic imagery from album covers and posters - we have an interview with the artist and take a look inside his studio. 

How did you become an artist?

I was interested in art from an early age. I remember being mesmerised by the artwork in the Roy Of The Rovers comic, and then later, in my early teenage years, the cover art of 7” singles and Albums.


Describe your art in three words?

Smashed, Fragments, Reformed


What draws you to work with your chosen media/s?

More often than not, I work with ceramic tiles that I break up and reform into iconic images. I first became aware of the medium when I saw the work of Rob Lally who is also from my home city of Salford. From the very first artwork I made using the technique, I began attracting buyers, which was lucky as I fell in love with the medium instantly.


Does the area in which you live inspire your work?

Very much so....growing up I was very aware of the bands that were from my home city, and from Manchester....and the artwork and design of Peter Saville and Central Station for Factory Records. The influence of those artists and musicians, and the late Tony Wilson have powered the regeneration of Manchester from the drab, grey, damp city of the 70s and 80s into the cool capital of the north that it is today.


Where do you draw inspiration from?

I’m still inspired by the same things I always have been, Music, Film, Art, Design, Books, Sport, to name a few.....there are so many images that I’ve drawn inspiration from in my lifetime that I could never run out of subject matter. I’m a searcher by nature, I’m always looking for the ‘next thing’.

Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?

I’m always listening to music while I work, whether that be Clint Boon on XS Radio, or put the phone on shuffle and away we go.


If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?

Tony Wilson, Chuck Close, Jamie Reid 

What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery - do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to exhibit your work?

Quite simply it was Alex and his passion for art and his understanding of what great design is all about. When I went and saw the layout and location of the gallery I was even more convinced.

What are you most excited about artistically in 2021?

To keep producing art that people are passionate about and want to hang on their walls.


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