Paul Bloomer


Born in Pensnett in 1966, Paul Bloomer spent his late teens working in a metal-pressing factory. While working there he discovered a passion for drawing with charcoal. In 1991, Bloomer left the factory to study art at Nottingham Polytechnic and the Royal Academy schools.

Bloomer's first solo exhibition was at The Weathered Wall Gallery in Seattle in 1992. Bloomer has since shown his works in London, Nottingham, Southampton, Inverness and the Shetlands. He has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Arthur Hacker Prize for drawing, the Hennington Award for figurative composition, the John Purcell Printmaking Prize, the Joseph Webb Award, the Marks and Spencer Award, two John Gouldie Prizes and most recently the Vaila Fine Art Prize. Bloomer's works are held in public and private collections worldwide including the Shetland Museum, Dudley Art Gallery, Walsall Art Gallery, Barnett Council, Kings Hospital London, Free Fields Collection. Bloomer's self-portrait was purchased by Ruth Borchard Collection from the 2015 Self-Portrait Prize.


Bloomer's early works captured his native industrialised Black Country, blending the landscapes of his childhood with his interest in themes of oppression, exploitation and captivity. Bloomer's move to the Shetlands marked a shift in both his creative process and focus. With this move, Bloomer began painting outside to challenge the urban vernacular of his early paintings, embracing the constantly shifting colours and shapes of the outdoors and moving towards more colourful abstraction. Bloomer enjoys experimenting with different media, including digital art, photography, drawing and printmaking. Bloomer cites his influences as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, Goya, Emil Nolde and Sebastião Salgado.

Bloomer's self-portrait is a woodcut print of the artist at work. Bloomer is shown in the Shetlands, in the midst of creating a linear landscape painting, suggesting a kinship between the processes of self-portraiture and depicting one's surroundings.