Paul Blomkamp

Born 1949, Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the age of 19, Blomkamp was awarded the commission to make one of the (then) largest Stained Glass windows in the world. Although primarily a painter, Blomkamp spent the following 20 years producing a spate of large, modern windows for churches, homes and large corporations. Since 1993, he has concentrated exclusively on his paintings.

Interview with Art Africa

In 1979 (when I was 30 years old) I contracted Legionniares disease from drinking water on a golf course. Within a week I ‘died’. The resultant near death experience transported me to a place where energy and its workings was revealed to me in such utter detail and clarity that it drastically changed the way I look at everything.. life and death..and painting.

What I witnessed and experienced was the very details of immencity. I had fallen into a sea of seething electrical activity where the light was brighter than bright.

From being very ill to teaching myself to meditate to attempting to try understand what was happening to me to putting this experience onto canvas.

I had been connected to the ‘Electric Essence’It is this ‘Essence’that informs everything that I paint.

My fascination with Quantum Physics was born out of a dire need to understand and become more connected to this ‘Electric Essence’

All my answers to your questions are related directly to what I have just described in my general summary.

  1. Each surface I work on helps me, in their own way, make the millions of marks I make. Each line is nothing more than a track of shooting energy. When working on paper these marks are quick and fierce.The quantum work is a world of great speed and activity. My paper works allow me to ‘scratch’ these lines of energy Quickly. Fast. Physical. Frenetic. I use canvas for the detail and sharp clarity It allows me. I work on a very smooth surface.It offers me precision and a clarity of edge and shape, and of course,size. My canvas work is more calculated and constructed. No place for a brush stroke, although I use only brushes to paint with. This is because light itself has no texture. If I paint a Protea say, I am not painting the texture of a Protea, but rather an arrangement of its intrinsic light. In thiscase texture stands in the way of the purity of this light.
  2. Quantum Physics describe how everything is held together by this ‘Electric Essence’, countless billions of electrical transactions are taking place at breakneck speed every second. Not only within us, but through every thing that exists..everywhere. When one is given a glimpse of this activity choreographed by some all encompassing intelligence. My compulsion to paint it and share it is overwhelming. The mystery and fascination for me as an Artist is to explore this interaction on canvas. How does one paint a single Protea petal…knowing that within it lies a treasure chest of electrical information and intelligence. This is where I need to make the invisible visible. I know it is there…I know I must access it and make it seen.
  3. Everything is connected, to call it spirituality or QuantumPhysics is not important to me. My connection to this electrical essence is what is important. That this electrical essence is imbued with qualities of love and compassion was a shock to me. The universe has an immeasurable intelligence…finding love and compassion that exists in this intricate matrix of vibrant bits of electricity is the most liberating discovery I have made.
  4. When I was ten years old my dear father gave me a book on Paul Klee’s art. He was painting things I could not understand, but felt was right.He was explaining unseen secrets in his painting. 20 years before being thrust into this quantum world, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. To show the beauty of the mysterious.
  5. There are no large singular brushstrokes in my work. There is no commitment to texture…only to the portrayal of light. Light is everything.. light comes before texture. If I want to paint light then texture is left behind. The seduction of using juicy thick paint is not strong enough for me.Light comes first..way beyond technique. The clues that connect with the viewer are in my use of uncompromisingly crispness of colour…sharpness of edge…interacting of repetitive lines…I sometimes think of my paintings as mathematical equations …in the process of being solved. I am a passionate painter, for sure, but so much of me is also a scientist. If I could place my easel smack in the middle of the large Hadron Particle Collider in Czern, I would be a happy man.
  6. My love and connection with the Magaliesberg is an immense affair. In the Magaliesberg I found a place where energy shared itself with me. During my many years of recovering from my illness I found the energy field that clocked these mountains and fields completely enervating. When I started painting after returning from my excursions into the mountains I found it was not a visual scene I was trying to reproduce, but rather a ‘Feeling’ of energy the place had imparted to me..without energy we are nothing. Painting energy is the secret to energising myself. The quest of this Artist / Amateur scientist is to search for this ‘Electric Essence’… and to paint it as purely and authentically as I can. During my recovery I read many books on Quantum Physics, philosophy and meditation. One book, ‘Stalking the wild Pendulum’ by Izak Bentov inspired me, not only with its wonderful title, to accept the invitation to explore and discover the mysterious and miraculousworkings of our existence. Also a book by an anonymous 14th century monk…inviting me to step into the ‘cloud of unknowing’ where everything is illuminated… and his invocation not to be seduced by the obvious.