Paul Cleden is a British printmaker and illustrator based in Dorset. Born in 1968 Cleden studied illustration at Kingston University and Maidstone College of Art before moving to London where he worked freelance as an illustrator, producing designs for others – the National Trust; the RSPB – but also for his own work as poet and writer of children’s books. In 1995 Cleden and family moved to Dorset. Here he initially taught photography and gave printmaking courses before concentrating full time on his own work.
Cleden has produced a body of work which has been exhibited widely – at the Pallant House, Chichester; Original Print Fair, London – and bought by collectors world-wide. His work references Grosvenor School artists Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews and Lill Tschudi (see Artists), but also Michael Rothenstein and Edward Bawden (see Artists). He focuses often on the figure in movement, on rowers, skiers, bicyclists and runners as they practice their sport, capturing a moment in mid stride, or just as the race arrives at the finishing line. His colours are bold, and the shapes pared down, and he often uses geometrical shapes as background to emphasise a sense of movement.