Paula Callahan


Abstract Painting; Mixed Media


Victoria, BC

Currently in the Gallery

About the Artist

"When I paint, I am transported to another world, bringing my inside world out and onto the canvas. I paint from my gut, the place where tension, grief, rage, acceptance and hope reside. I experience a complete sense of calm after painting; it is a cathartic event for me. Whether monochromatic or trichromatic, my work conveys a primal, earthly rhythm, sensual movement or form, and subtle complexity, inviting the viewer to look closely and feel the energy releasing from the canvas."

Paula Callahan was raised on Canada’s West Coast, in Victoria.

But it was on the other side of the world where she first made her mark. Leaving the safety and serenity of Vancouver Island, Paula spent a decade through the 1990s working as a field nurse with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in some of the most dangerous war zones in Afghanistan and Africa. Through this experience, she was a witness to devastating trauma, human suffering and environmental destruction. During her career, Paula committed her expertise, compassion and bravery to the organization taking on high-profile missions. As a result, she earned great respect amongst her peers as an integral part of MSF which, as an organization, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

As such, Paula’s ‘bearing witness’ to these atrocities are revealed in her work. At times, her pieces are calm and introspective, while others show a deep dive into darkness.  Paula’s experiences in war do not reveal themselves as a specific art style, but rather as a movement of emotions, each one being a unique journey from pain to reconciliation.