Paul Liptrot invites you to his exhibition ‘Firmament’ – which asks you to see beyond the horizon or beneath the surface.The firmament is the arch of the sky that prevents us from seeing beyond our everyday perception.

Whether that is the enormity of the universe or the complexity of the microscopic world, the firmament is a border brimming with potential. It beguiles Paul and has pushed him to create, to find the elusive magic that gives rise to something unique, not always recognisable.

Through a series of light installations and wall based work you will get a glimpse inside worlds and galaxies which have been brought to life by Paul’s fascination with materials.

Firmament brings together the alchemical Petri Latex series with ethereal and energetic works in oil, both unified by a love for investigating the obscured and imagined. Using energy and chemistry Paul’s interactions speak of more than just colour and medium. The result is work intended equally for the artist and the perennially curious, asking the question is this art or science?

It is Paul’s hope that this exhibition will allow you to answer that question; viewing the work but also drawing on your own experiences, emotions and history to discover something that resonates with you.

Find out more on my website:


Well where did the time go?   The last few months have flown by and I’m pleased to say that my first solo show, ‘Firmament’ is taking place this week at Thirtyfive Gamble in Nottingham.

It feels like its been a mammoth trip, both mentally and physically but I’m excited with what I’ve achieved so far and can’t wait to see it all set up at the venue!  Bring on Thursday when it’s time to set it all up!

The show is taking place at Thirtyfive Gamble, 35 Gamble Street, Nottingham, NG7 4EY.  Thirtyfive Gamble is an independent studio, gallery and community space in the centre of Nottingham.  It’s such a lovely venue, a bit quirky and Sue Turton who runs it is lovely and relaxed!

I’ve put together a mix of work, the one I’m really excited about is a large petri latex installation featuring 80 petri dishes in 10 colour ways. The piece was two months in the making from conception through to implementation.  It made me quite emotional as I wanted the whole piece to work but also for each of the dishes to work on its own.  Once I saw the finished pieces mounted in the MDF I was thrilled and can’t wait to see it mounted over a window at Thirtyfive Gamble.

This is one of 9 light installations (from over 150 petri dishes) that will feature at the show

To complement the petri latex light installations there are a range of my works on paper which are all concerned with energy and motion, trying to capture the invisible and obscured.  All the pieces are framed and ready to go, its great to see them all complete. I’m hoping that they will be vibrant and evocative companions to the light installations.

Firmament Show Information
Firmament is taking place at Thirtyfive Gamble in Nottingham on the 28th and 29th of October (10.30-18.30 Saturday – 10.30- 16.30 Sunday) and the Private View is at 18.30 on the 27th of October! Hopefully see some of you there!

Hope to see you there!


Now that there is less than a month to go I’m busy ticking items off what seems like a never ending checklist. There’s a lot to think about from advertising it, finishing the work and thinking about how it’s all going to fit together when it is time to set it all up.  It brings up all the emotions and reactions that we develop through life and seems to shine them up to be considered. It’s an emotional roller coaster but one that will be worth it in the end.

The process is making me take some big steps in how I’ve historically added value to my work and how I perceive it. There will be various framed works on paper, am really looking forward to seeing them all ‘finished’; sometimes I think its not till this point that one can really evaluate its success. One of the pieces has a much more emotional connection; it was my first large work on paper – a diptych, each piece 1.5m high. It means a lot to me but I’ve never seen it fully finished, the last time it was shown it was just tacked onto a wall so this time it will, for me at least, a much bigger deal.

Visiting the framer felt like a huge obstacle, and not just for my wallet. Considering the effect I wanted, how the frame relates to the images and many more questions, formed part of a great discussion and I’m happy with my choices. There will be two distinct types of frames that I hope will work well with each other and the light installations, a sample is shown on the left.

The one piece that is taking up a lot of time and mind space is the showcase piece; 80 dishes in a large cluster. I’m using a set recipe to make all the dishes with several points when unique colours are added to differentiate how they fit together. It’s really exciting as it puts me in a meditative space where the process takes over completely and I become obsessed with what I’m doing.   I’ve done 8 of the sets so far and they’re coming together nicely, each one a little world with its own identity and feeling. The picture in the gallery shows 80 in various stages of drying.

As I navigate this process I’m using it as an opportunity to not just present my work but to also look at my work pragmatically, to consider where I’ve come from, what I’ve achieved and where I can go in the future.   It feels good to not just be making but to think about it all too.

One thing I like to do is to look closely at what I’m making in the moment, the single dish in the gallery is right at the beginning of the process before the accent colour was added. It contains so much potential at this stage, there is more work to do on it, its’ just forming and my actions are creating something truly unique. I love that what you see here will completely change, once the white of the latex disappears its true essence will appear and I’ll be able to evaluate the success of the set as a whole.

More posts will be coming up in the next weeks so watch this space!


I’m in the full throws of preparing for my upcoming show, ‘Firmament’ and it’s proving to be exciting and challenging in equal measure. Deciding to go solo is a big step. I’ve taken part in group shows in both the UK and India and there is something less charged about sharing the emotions and process with others. Doing a solo show is about saying, ‘hey, look at me’ something that isn’t within my comfort zone, not by a long shot. There is nowhere to hide and the success of the show is firmly on my shoulders.

Personally it has been an arduous journey to the point where I feel confident in my own voice and where I am in my career. I’ve been looking back at some of my previous work from moons ago and it’s good to critically look at where I started, what has changed and which connections are still part of who I am.  It’s clear to me that control is one of the main threads to my practice, how I react to that control can lead to big leaps but also becoming constrained.

I think my work is best when the control and freedom work together. There is something about rules allowing me the freedom to be creative. The prime example of this is the petri latex series where the dishes provide the space for me to push myself and create magic.

The work on paper is more complex as the edge is more difficult to define, marking the paper goes some way to ameliorating this issue thankfully. The picture in the gallery shows a piece of work during at the process (right) and once complete (left), both have their merits, but they show how sometimes I find stopping a bit difficult. That ‘just one more movement’ can completely change the final work.

I’m putting together a lot of new work along with some of my older work to give a full demonstration of my journey. For me, this feels like the show is providing a place from which to develop once it’s over, to consider new ideas in connection with my current preoccupations and to see where I can take them.

One of the most exciting parts of the show is the development of my showcase installation which will be a huge feature in the venue. It will have 80 dishes in a range of colour ways in a backlit laser cut mdf frame.  I’m working with a set recipe that will be repeated across all the combinations with some colours being constant and others changing. I’ve done something like this before (without a laser cutter that time), this version is a big leap forward as the dishes aren’t simply placed in the piece but in such a way that suggests movement through their position and colour depth.

So, for now, its full steam ahead! Only 4 weeks to go!

Firmament Show Information
Firmament is taking place at Thirtyfive Gamble in Nottingham on the 28th and 29th of October (10.30-18.30 Saturday – 10.30- 16.30 Sunday) and the Private View is at 18.30 on the 27th of October! Hopefully see some of you there!


Choosing what to call a show is a daunting experience, particularly because you need to find a description that can be applied to what your work is about and that makes people think. How does that work?

There are so many ways that my work can be broken down from my almost scientific approach, my use of materials or colour, or the plethora of inspirations that drive me to create more work. It was key for me to find something that would bring together my petri latex series with my oil works on paper.

I considered a lot of words and spent time looking at base words, synonyms, antonyms and so on. I wanted something that was more than just a word or phrase, it needed to be evocative and to create a sense of wonder. Hopefully something that would draw people in to want to find out more.

As is often my way I looked up and considered space for inspiration. I’d been awed by the recent pictures of Jupiter taken by the NASA mission, Juno, which show a whole new level of detail about what is an intriguing and wondrous planet.  Read more about this on the NASA website

This led me to the firmament which has biblical origins but which speaks of something that transcends a singular way of thinking. What is it? Is it real? Is it an emotion? Can it be pinned down to something. The description I like the most is also the simplest:

Firmament. (Noun) the vault of heaven; sky.

There is something quite beguiling about this description, in some ways its quite definite and in others it’s really abstract and colossal. I find that tension between it being something and nothing quite exciting.

This led me to think of the curvature of space and how, apart from a handful of people, we are unable to see the point at which the atmosphere dissipates and is replaced by the vastness of space. One of my aims in life is to see that for myself one day (here’s hoping).

This indeterminable edge often features in my work, for example, with the petri latex series the dish itself is quite definite but what happens inside it is more free and less simple to define, are you seeing into something, a portion of something or a whole object in itself? This is something that I hope that people viewing my work consider whether consciously or not.

The soft curve that I see when I think of the firmament is also evident in my works on paper and I’m creating a new series of work which feature an edge, whether subtle of quite clearly. The movements attempting to capture energy on either side of this divide.

Hopefully this idea will excite others as much as it excites me in the run up to the show, running from the 27th to the 29th of October in Nottingham.   Check out the event on facebook for more updates!   Firmament Solo Show on Facebook