LifestylePersona December, 23rd 2010 by

Dario Meets Paul Wilcockson - Key Feature

Paul Wilcockson L.M.P.A

Somewhere off the Coin road and deep in the campo, lies a picturesque low built dwelling situated snugly in a deep hollow, ensconced by small hills and fields, as if sheltering between two giant protective hands, which shield the house and its occupants from all real or imaginary dangers. Rincon Del Hinojal is a four hundred year old building that, I discovered later, has the friendly ghost of the original owner moving serenely around the house and its hinterland.

I was met by one of the occupants and two powerful black Labrador dogs that bounded towards me barking fiercely to check me out and test my nerve; their rapid approach, thankfully stopped in their tracks, by a call from their pack leader Paul Wilcockson. 

At first sight Paul is of medium height, ruggedly built, with dark longish hair, an engaging smile, penetrating eyes and the good looks of some popular English actors, who starred in romantic movies of heroic swashbuckling heroes; a woman in one hand and a sword in the other, as depicted by actor Oliver Tobias, or the 16th century Florentine sculptor Benvenuto Cellini.

Praying Mantis

He calmed his dogs, welcomed me and led me to the entrance to his home that lies behind a small building where there is a sense of harmless chaos all around as if the house is a work in progress. From the blinding sun outside, he took me into the darkened interior and onto a narrow corridor with walls lined with pictures of his work. With a coffee placed in my hand by his attractive and talented partner Stephanie, Paul began to tell me something about his life and photography.

He was born in Barcelona and as a child he spoke in Spanish and when he returned to England he had to learn his parents’ mother tongue. He attended the prestigious Downside School, one of England’s most distinguished schools, situated at the foot of the Mendip Hills, 12 miles south of the City of Bath and in this Catholic co-educational boarding school, there he experienced discipline and respect at the benign hands of strict Benedictine monks.

Paul was expected on leaving college to join the ranks of traditional blue-collar professions. But fortunately for us, his intuitive mother granted Paul his wish to go to art school, training at the Wimbledon School of Art, Camberwell School of Art and Kingston University, where he found his metier and flourished. Her wise decision, Paul is thankful for. Later a series of successful exhibitions followed.

Though modest by nature, he took pride in showing me some of his paintings and hundreds of photos, which were stunning and original in ideas. His speciality is portraits of adults, children, weddings and events, though I saw other photos that were works of art. Paul explained to me about his ideas and education“Many intense years of studying all aspects of Art finally led me to photography. I have studied light with Rembrandt, composition with Mondrian, mood with Cézanne, colour with Degas, expression with Jackson Pollock, form with Picasso, the list goes on.” “I photograph the more important interpretation of beauty in a person, not the one that is merely skin-deep – which everyone has. We are all ‘photogenic’, it is simply a question of a change of attitude to one’s self.” Paul continued to explain.

“Modern photography has become very dynamic, and coupled with the immeasurable potential of programmes such as Photoshop, it offers exciting opportunities. The power of the photographic image continues to develope.” With that in mind, his next ambition is to have an exhibition of huge photos like posters.

I asked him why the all the surrounding buildings seemed incomplete? He replied “Dario you’re a painter. Do you paint and finish one corner of the canvass only? Or do you jump around all over the surface with your brush till it comes together? That is what I am doing with my buildings. It’s the same as painting, but takes much longer.”

He is positive about his work and enjoys his lifestyle out in the campo including the hard physical work it entails, and his only professional gripe is that some publications use his work and fail to acknowledge the photographer, when it’s their obligation to do so. Though practical, Paul still has a sense of idealism and recently volunteered to support me in the campaign for Marbella and the Costa del Sol by working with the website and has helped me, using his considerable talents to get the message out about how lucky we are to be living here in this superb part of the world!

As I drove from the house along a bumpy road, looking in my rear mirror, I saw the figure of Paul in the distance, waving goodbye, as the two dogs chased after my car granting me the bonus of an nostalgic glimmer of an idyll, that some of us secretly dream of.

You can find out more about Paul Wilcockson L.M.P.A at key

All extra Photos added to the article by courtesy of Paul Wilcockson L.M.P.A.

Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


What did you think of this article?

  • Dianna Collen

    Interesting. The old buildings would have fascinated me.Jumping around the canvass with ones paint brush I relate to well, but I have always found it hard to know when the painting is finished! and I often feel I have over painted.

  • Something called Christmas got in my way causing me to miss this piece, I shall read it through again now, but slower, so far its revealing, interesting, and somehow rings bells, I really must pay more attention to all the articles published here.
    Many thanks

  • Now I that have read it properly,it feels as always with Dario that I am a fly on the wall.
    Sounds like a nice project getting the house together, and mixing art with it, I hope to perhaps meet this very artistic couple when I come down south later this year, and discuss a catalogue that I, and other artists are hoping to produce one day, and of course Dario who I hope will take me along on some of his rambles.
    All the best for 2011, Chris.

  • Dianna Collen

    I agree with Christopher Stone, getting the house together and mixing it with art is an interesting thought.I guess one could apply it to many other things around us.

  • Having been involved in the world of art and design for over 35 years I have seen most of everything if not all of it, I have had numerous solo shows, taken part in countless collective exhibitions, and attended many other artists shows across the globe, each and every one of these had some kind of catalogue, most had promotional posters, and all had some kind of photographers in attendance.
    It was not until the 3rd of February at the "Casa de la Cultura" in Fuengirola that I discovered the value of having a great and professional photographer.
    I had been introduced to Paul Wilcockson and his wife Stephanie the same evening, they had come along to the inauguration of "Assured growth value, invest in art" a collective exhibition of which I was taking part, Paul brought along his camera and during the show quietly mingled and worked his magic, I am camera shy, ugly, and extremely nervous at these events, the results of which leap out of the finished photo and attack you. I asked Paul "What's wrong with me", whenever someone points a camera in my direction I tend to smile like I have swallowed a bicycle pedal, "my kids at home laugh and tell me that the photos do not look like me" (which is a cold comfort, good news, and kindness mix ) Paul hid a grin as if to say "I've heard that before" I suggested that he should have a look at what he had of me so far, he did, this time he could not hide his grin, and after taking a second look he laughed out loud, and because I followed his laughter he could no longer hide behind his professionalism and roared, through his tears he gently led me through what he knew I was doing wrong, I followed Pauls advice like a lamb to the slaughter, the results dont make me pretty,no one could manage that, but they do make me look human instead of resembling a ferret looking through a bog brush.
    Paul's images of my work are the best I have seen, they are straight out of the camera, no photoshop, no retouches, and taken in the light that was present, I love them, and I am forever grateful for his kind advice.

    Paul Wilcockson L.MP.A

    • Hello Chris. I totally agree with all that you have written about Paul Wilcockson and next week, I will be publishing your excellent article on Paul as without doubt he is a superb photographic artist.

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