Henrietta Dubrey - Seeing Red
Henrietta Dubrey - Boscean
Henrietta Dubrey - Midwinter
Henrietta Dubrey - Hive
Henrietta Dubrey - January
Henrietta Dubrey - Selvedge
Henrietta Dubrey - Truleigh
Henrietta Dubrey - Sleep
Henrietta Dubrey - Kinnerton
Henrietta Dubrey - Winter Song
Henrietta Dubrey - Fifteen New Paintings
It is strange and wonderful how, occasionally, a bolt of inspiration flows into being, predictably unpredictable, and a body of work emerges which seems to connect, to follow suite, develop a story, create a whole picture.
In the search for a new simplicity, a directness of voice, I felt the need to express the ideas in pure abstraction, and following on from and developing my 2012 striped paintings, new bold shapes appeared across the canvasses. The palette of the works is subdued, quiet and contemplative. I was trying to achieve a more meditative and deep, thoughtful oeuvre.
‘Hive’ and ’Context’ were the first to appear, the pared-downness not quite achieved. The inspiration for these paintings was conceived during an IMS Prussia Cove concert on a cold winter’s night in Paul church. As the music played, my mind drifted and the ideas configured. The next morning in the studio, the compositions began to emerge instinctively, the particular ‘T’ shape and its dot repeating down the canvasses, which were worked on simultaneously. The works which followed these, pared down further the dark strong lines on these first paintings, creating grid like shapes, defining areas of canvas.
The whiteness, greyness and blackness, reminiscent of the winter months, the rawness of the season, the bareness, gave way firstly to a need for warmth and intensity as ‘Chocolatier’ was finished upon my return from a trip to London. This painting describes for me a coffee-time treat with my daughter at a favourite haunt of mine since my days at the RA Schools. We sat in Patisserie Valerie in Old Compton Street, sheltering from a beastly January blizzard of sleet and snow outside, luxuriating in delicious pastries within. And then a sudden splurge of brightest green appeared on a canvas, a premonition of spring; work was going well, positive shoots pushed through, and colour was once more introduced to the palette. ‘Seeing Red’, one of the ‘Fifteen’, juxtaposed with the cooler more austere wintry works, carries the concept of spring giving way to midsummer; a June burst of warmth and sunlight. The deep warm reds change subtly down the canvas, through bright red to an intense burnt orange at the bottom of the canvas; the loose brushwork constrained by equally free margin lines, creating a grid like pattern which in turn connect back to paintings like ‘January’.
Minimal in concept, it is an ideal opportunity for me to present these ‘Fifteen New Paintings’ as a body, in the hope that they tell a story of half a year of my artist’s life in West Penwith.
Henrietta Dubrey, April 2013.