Paul Hodges is a figurative artist who has a penchant for painting theatrical, modern and historical women. It’s a passion that stems from his long-time interest in theatre, ballet and popular culture. He recalls an early influence of participating in a life drawing class at RMIT in Melbourne many years ago. The challenge of painting women drives him, “It’s hard to do a drawing or painting of a woman and make it a good painting.” Many years of visiting the Melbourne Arts Centre and seeing theatre and ballet performances was pivotal in influencing his creative practice.

In recent years, Hodges has been fascinated by Asian subcultures from China and Japan, with a particular interest in the fashion, “I am fascinated by the Lolita fashion movement,” he says. The Lolita subculture is categorised by three main styles: ‘gothic’, ‘classic’, and ‘sweet’. “I’ve seen it in the city in Melbourne too–women dressing up in anime and Lolita fashion. I think it has links to pre-romanticism and [while originating in the 1990s] it has its roots in fashion from old times.”

Paul Hodges (b 1974, Melbourne) is an accomplished mid-career artist. An incredible colourist, he works across a variety of mediums. Inspired by dancers, models and the romantic Old Masters, his work represents the human figure in motion that he sources from magazines and books. Hodges has worked at Arts Project since 1998 and has presented numerous solo and group shows. His work is held in the National Gallery of Victoria (as gifted by Stuart Purves) and in private collections throughout Australia.

Walk through the exhibition via entering a virtual room, scrolling the slideshow below or downloading Paintings of Women Catalogue (this link redirects to a PDF).


Mapping Our Own Future is a weekly series of solo and group virtual exhibitions curated from our stockroom. An extension of our gallery to a virtual space, the series offers a place to connect with our artists while at home. Visit other virtual exhibitions here.

Produced by Arts Project Australia curator & gallery manager Sim Luttin.