22 March 2017
Former electrician completes first piece of commission artwork
The first piece of commission work produced by a former electrician who retrained as an artist has been unveiled in Denbighshire.
Llangollen Silver Band asked Wrexham Glyndwr University graduate Paul Heppell to come up with an installation to sit next to their HQ in the town.
The 2.5m tall stainless steel sculpture features a treble clef and stave spiralling upwards, designed to highlight the aspirations of young musicians and the positivity of learning to play a musical instrument.
Originally from Morecambe, Paul spent his early employment in jobs ranging from cleaning to working as an electrician before leaving the UK to travel the world for 13 months.
A brief spell back home followed before he moved to Palma, Majorca, where he discovered a passion for art.
He joined Wrexham Glyndwr University from a foundation course at Wigan and Leigh College, enrolling on the university’s BA (Hons) Fine Art degree in 2013.
Paul said: “When I was 31 I changed my mind about what I wanted to do in life and that’s when I decided to go travelling.
“Art was something I enjoyed and as I did more and more of it I started to see the opportunities it offered for becoming self-employed, rather than working for someone. Getting paid for doing something you love is everyone’s goal and that’s why I decided to focus on becoming a full-time artist.
“I enjoyed returning to education later in life as I’m more focused, with a stronger work ethic, and that meant I could really make the most of my studies.”
Paul is currently working as an artist in residence at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Regent Street campus, a Grade II listed building in Wrexham town centre which is the home of the university’s School of Creative Arts.
“The smaller class sizes at Glyndwr University were a definite selling point over other universities,” said Paul. “You get more contact time with tutors and they give you professional development opportunities to work outside the university while you’re studying. You really benefit from these professional links with the art world when you graduate.
“I work across sculpture, video, art performance – anything I’m interested in really. I didn’t want to start studying for a Masters degree straight away after graduating so I’m grateful for the opportunity the university has given me to work as a resident artist. I get studio space and access to all of the facilities at Regent Street, which is fantastic as I start out on my career as an artist.”
See more of Paul’s work at https://vimeo.com/paulheppell