Cullen’s practice is focused on sculptural installation and objects. A primary conceptual interest is the notion of the provisional and unfinished. Projects incorporate process and change exploring the impossibility of arriving at a completed and final form. His work is underpinned by an interest in science, the provisional nature of scientific knowledge and the quest for a theory of everything. Research into space informs his projects and, designed spaces such as gardens, so called pleasure gardens in particular. Michel Foucault called the garden “the smallest part of the world and the whole world at the same time”. Gardens reflect philosophical and pragmatic views of the world and are important because change is an implicit part of them: seasonal change, growth, movement and so on. A garden is a space to be walked through and experienced, every visit reveals something new.
Furniture features prominently in his projects and in many respects can be considered to stand in for the human body, to act as a scale reference and to point towards structural instability.
Provisional Arrangements, SoFA Gallery, Canterbury University. 2016
Objects. Untitled drawing, Demo, artist run space, Auckland. 2016
The Orange Theory, Valija Diplomatic Low Cost. Curated travelling exhibition, sixteen international venues. 2016/17
Models Methods and Assumptions, Te Uru Window Project. 2015
The Brain, Te Uru. 2015
Monument, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail. 2015
Survey with incomplete models, ZK/U Berlin. 2015
Mezzanine, Engine Room, Massey University, Wellington. 2014
Floor, The Young, Wellington. 2014
Object/Anti-Object, Athfield Architects, Khandallah, Wellington. 2013
Discovery of oxygen, Peripheral Relations. Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art. Adam Art Gallery. 2012
Paul Cullen is Associate Professor in Visual Arts at AUT University.