Pauline Solon is an artist whose work is reflected in the way she has lived and continues to live her life’s journey.
Born in Galway, Ireland, she later grew up on a farm in Westmeath where she developed a deep love and appreciation for Nature. For her, it was a vast wonderland of pulsating life, colour and sound; a living entity of wild abundance. The woods were places of magical refuge and inspiration, where she learned to dance to the music of the wind, the trees and the creatures she came to recognise as friends.
On the farm there was a slow winding river that reflected, in moving picture form, everything that grew along its banks and all the happenings in the sky above.
“I believe that during the time spent gazing into that river I was seeded with an intense desire to paint. So, with pieces of paper, a box of paints and a few scrawny brushes I would climb one of my favourite trees and spend hours painting pictures. I would then hide them in all sorts of places, like letters to nature”.
At school and university she continued her intense desire to understand more about the world in which she lived. However, this took her away from the life she loved on the farm.
Later with the encouragement of her family and mentor she went to Amsterdam to further her education in the Rietveld Academy of Art.
Her desire to understand more about the mystery of life drew her to travel to far away places, starting in a small village in Southern Spain. There she met the man who was to become her travelling companion and husband. Together they started a journey of destiny, she to paint and he to write.
They lived for almost two years with the people known as The Blue Men [Berbers] of Southern Morocco, where she had her first initiation into a culture of fascinating people. It was with these people that she realised her paintings enabled her to communicate beyond words.
“These people gave me a gift beyond price”.
Her husband, who had lived for many years in the Middle East, wished to re-trace his steps and keep on going towards the East. So, together they travelled overland through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Eventually they “landed’ in what then was a small town called Broome on the Northwest Coast of Australia. They spent some time travelling through the desert, where they had some wonderful encounters with the Native People.
Deeply touched by the majesty, timelessness and silence of the Australian outback, Pauline and her husband took up residence on a property in Queensland. Their home became a meeting place for people of all ages. To this day it is still a place of refuge for those who seek to experience a moment of timelessness. Then a series of unexpected events led her to Bali. There, under the protection of some Balinese people, she found the freedom to deepen her awareness of the importance of Art as a way to communicate and to learn.
Her connection to the Balinese people, who are integral to her daily life, is in itself an extraordinary journey.
Subsequently, during a stay in Australia she met Pedro, with whom she shares her life to this day. They built a house and studio on the land of her Balinese family, where they have lived and worked for most of the last 30+ years. Pedro’s talents extend from designing unusual houses, to picture frames, to one-off pieces of jewellery and is a complement to Pauline’s way of being.
“I have literally painted my way round the world, leaving a paper trail of colour, as well as love and appreciation for the warm hearted generosity of the people who welcomed me to be part of their lives”.
“I love to experiment with all kinds of natural materials and over the years I have found myself drawn towards the long and fascinating process of their preparation. I have found that this preparation is a constant reminder of the birthing, the living and transforming process that is mirrored everywhere and of which, we, as human beings, are an integral part”.
Pauline has been exhibiting her work since 1970. She has had exhibitions in Ireland, Europe, Australia, America, Indonesia and her work is in some prestigious collections worldwide. Her paintings were chosen to represent Australia in the 50th Anniversary of Indonesian Independence in 1995.
Her work is unique and follows no particular formula. It is like her life, a journey of colour.