Current Exhibition

27th February - 5th April 

Portraits painted by Lorna Brown, Martyn Burdon, Corrina Dunlea, Jon Farningham, Caroline Lumb and John Sellings, with sculpture by Christy Symington. Each artist has a very different approach to portraiture.
Closed until further notice to protect public health but please see our new Online Gallery.

Please click on any image to see the exhibition slideshow.

Lorna Brown

Intermittently I have painted and drawn (self)-portraits and have been intrigued by the combined role of 'artist-as-reflection-as-model' - and the principle that we don't see ourselves as others do. The two-dimensional, reversed image of a mirror reflection is a useful aid, but it is because of the dual role of 'model and maker' that I am aware of the temperament and meditations of both at the same time. I think it is then that the less obvious subtleties of resemblance and character emerge, and supports the belief that there is much more content to 'likeness' than meets the eye.
I work from a studio in Baldock and have enjoyed exhibiting since graduating in Fine Art in 2000. The portrait-work of Rembrandt, Soutine, Diebenkorn and Auerbach has been of great interest to me.

Martin Burden
As an artist, Martyn is mostly drawn to calm and reflective portraiture, but his practice has covered a wide range of subject matter. His work is gentle, figurative and naturalistic, with a strong focus on emotional insight and draftsmanship. He has a distinctive intricate style that is precise, delicate, and rewards repeated viewing. Martyn is equally comfortable working in paint or pencil.
Martyn is a BP Portrait Award nominated artists who lives and works in Buckinghamshire. His painting of the actor and Musician Matt Berry was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2017 and selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The painting was also shown at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Martyn's work was also shortlisted for the Derwent Art Prize in 2018. The biennial award, highlighting the best in international contemporary drawing. Most recently, his work was shortlisted for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.
Martyn was also shortlisted for the Artist and Illustrator Magazine 'Artist of the Year Award' in 2018 and 2019. On both these occasions the selected works were exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London.
His work has featured on the pages of Artist and Illustrator Magazine and he is a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters group. He regularly exhibits work in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and in London. He is currently working on a number of commissioned portraits.

Corrina Dunlea
My portraits are usually born instantaneously, stemming from an urgency to capture both the energy and humanity of the sitter. The images are created in the main with dry mediums, charcoal, easy to slide around and form a soft ground for building up tone, pencils to refine features, ink and wash to generate movement and drama.
I did my intense training with the brilliant Andrew James RP in Italy and was initiated into the world of oil painting. I realised at this point that if oil was my main medium I would not achieve the volume of activity that satisfies my need to be free with mark making, I do love the richness of colour and intertwining imaginative outputs with portraits making the outputs quite unique and I hope intriguing.

Jon Farningham
Portrait painting is an immense task, however the rewards of the experience are incredibly fulfilling. I aim to capture not only outward appearances but something that is suggestive of the character underneath. When I create self-portraits I must look inward. However to paint others you must remove such personal and subjective experience, so that you can understand others as they are and create an image which is fair and true of them.

Caroline Lumb
I approach portraiture through drawing – with charcoal and chalk. It is in the style of the traditional ateliers – learnt through London Atelier of Representational Art. The discipline of drawing from a model homes my observation skills with the necessity of a resolved piece, making me concentrate on detail which my sketchbook work allows me to bypass – often because I am in a rush to move onto the next idea! So, some days I take portrait drawing very slowly, allowing a lot of time for refinement and adjustment moving just a few lines - other days the whole drawing moves on at a rate that absorbs the whole day. Having completed a drawn portrait I am usually so engaged with the image that I feel the need to explore its possibilities further – so being an artist that enjoys a number of different mediums, I take the image towards an alternative approach. Some of these pieces have been submitted for this exhibition – the possibilities are limitless – hence my interest in portraiture.

John Sellings
As an Observational (a word I prefer to Figurative or Realistic) artist, I am interested in people, clothed or not, attempting to be as faithful as necessary to the visible leads inevitably to a likeness or a portrait.

Christy Symington
Sculptor Christy Symington lives in South East London and her studio is in Deptford.
Figurative sculpture is fundamental in a signature range of work made from ad hoc materials. With a focus on making sculptures of people hidden in our history she brings their presence into our lives and highlights historically significant legacies. Responses to historical and socio-cultural/political imbalances and omissions, are displayed through her bronze sculptures of Olaudah Equiano, an abolitionist and author and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a New York painter, spanning twenty years of her work.
In January 2020 her sculpture of Equiano is a highlight at Parliament’s event to celebrate a selection of recent acquisitions into the Parliamentary Art Collection. Christy is delighted to include this sculpture from the limited edition in FACING FORWARD in Harlow with its inherent connection to sculpture.
Symington is a Member (MRSS) of the Royal Society of Sculptors since 2002 (Board Member 2003-07) and studied in Paris, New York and London. Permanent collections include Angel Orensanz Foundation in NYC, International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, Royal Museums Greenwich and UK Parliamentary Art Collection.