ANOTHER VIEW, 2003.

 
From a succession of windswept sheds and barns on the North Devon coast, Paul Anderson has created a distinct approach to the making of furniture and sculpture for twenty-five years: his approach is so at odds with traditional cabinet-making that to label him a designer-maker would be misleading. His querky, elemental pieces, frequently enlivened with mischievous or reflective figures and dashes of colour are delightfully naive in conception. Yes, he uses relic materials, but doesn't see himself as a "recycling freak", nor as an earnest craftsman in the conventional sense: "I use a mixture of instinct and only very elementary techniques; my tools are a shambles; for me it is all materials then design."

 
The irregularity of reclaimed oak timbers, which are never truly square or straight or flat, and their beguiling "visible histories", not only determine the unique appearance of his pieces but act as grist to the creative mill, continually posing fresh challenges as he goes along. It is this, coupled with his sense of sense of fun and a compulsion to take visual risks, that gives life and energy to the work.

 
He finds most furniture "essentially quite boring really – soulless and lifeless", and claims to enjoy the prospect that the owners of his functional pieces will need to adapt their living patterns to meet the work. "I have made tables which people lose cutlery through. I quite like that."

 
Given his obvious preoccupations, Paul Anderson was the obvious choice when The Eden Project, having unearthed the remains of "The Rosebud", a boat with a vivid political history, sought an artist to immortalise them. He came up with "The Art of Grafting", scarfing denuded remnants of the old oak hull onto a series of eleven new oak stems, as if onto rootstocks, and securing the joints with stainless steel bolts. The Project also commissioned a huge Throne and a group of seven moody Snakelocks-inspired "life-form sculptures" consisting of twisted oak trunks topped off with flexible lengths of copper tubing.

 
- adapted from an article by Ali Watkinson for The Sunday Telegraph.