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The opening world

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

I'm about to drive over with friends to Dartmouth for the exhibition Sea Life. The artists showing are: Jacqueline Duncan, Bill Bate, Frances Gynn, James Stewart, Paul Riley, Steve Nayar, Tina Riley, Laurel Keeley and myself.

This eclectic selection themed on sea life is, due to the warm and welcoming open-hearted ethos of Coombe Gallery, expertly hung salon-style by gallerist Mark Riley. All the galleries are open now along famous Foss Street, welcoming people back, six at a time, into the opening world.

This town gallery originated out of Coombe Farm Studios - a few miles away, found down a narrow, meandering, blousy-hedged lane in a South Hams valley. Artists come from all over the country to stay and study art courses in the many studios, workshops and galleries here. As a girl, I lived down the road in Tuckenhay by the river Dart, so it was easy for me to borrow my Mother's Ford Capri and come and work here before I began Uni in the autumn. The atmosphere was like a big hug - especially because it was all about art.

Dining, during this sunny summer, usually took place in the beautiful old farm yard. Here we would gather together around a large wooden table under the shade of the cherry blossom tree, eating home grown food (grown by head of the operation, Tina, and her mother, Mimi). I would often cook for the resident artists under the guidance of Tina, getting in early to make breakfast, clean the rooms, then help make lunch, and do the odd bit of gardening, before prepping the dinner. I was also driver for the co-head honcho and water-colourist Paul, for his catch-ups with the local poets, writers and fishermen, who also hung out (salon-style) at the Ferryboat Inn, Dittisham.

Every so often I would be summoned by Grandfather Milo for a chat. He would worry about me going to college in case I married a mere art lecturer. I adored Milo, and my heart would leap with joy when I was told he had called for me.

I worked my little socks off for this inspired and inspiring set up, and whats more, I was partly paid in courses - which, as you can imagine, was an utter delight to me!

And now, here I am, honoured to be invited to show with everyone at Coombe Gallery.

Come along if you can... and say hi to Mark, who no doubt, will welcome you warmly.

Thumbnails of my works on show:-


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