As part of this year’s Minehead Literary Festival, an art exhibition was organised at the Regal Theatre and at Toucan Wholefoods. The art exhibition focused on the importance of place, the theme of the literary festival, and featured work by accomplished local artists Jo Minoprio, Leo Davey and Pauline Clyde, who are well known for capturing a strong sense of place in their depiction of local scenes.
Jo Minoprio first came to live on Exmoor 40 years ago and she continues to explore her passion for the wild Exmoor landscape, and in particular her fascination with beech hedges.
We often think of our Exmoor landscape as being natural and wild when actually the miles of hedgerows have been modelled by man through being cut, laid, trimmed or simply left over the years, forming exquisite but temporary sculptures of our time.
The beech hedges have to some extent become a trademark of Jo’s work with her photography and artwork travelling, side by side, down the path to discovery.
Pauline Clyde worked as a commercial artist, illustrating guide books and producing watercolour images of proposed buildings for developers in London and worked on private commissions of house exteriors and interiors.
Pauline turned her attention to non-commercial work and has since concentrated on painting. She experiments with media in order to develop her responses to the environment and is constantly playing and responding to the energies and effects of the natural world; studying the nature of water, the seasonal changes of trees, the compositions of still life and the movement and colours of flowers. Her work varies from energetic abstracts to tenaciously observed studies and she finds the execution of a painting a constant and exciting puzzle to be solved.
In order to share and work with other painters, Pauline has a studio in Somerset where she holds ‘painting together’ days, weekend retreats and art weeks for which she is qualified to teach. She runs tutoring sessions in London.
Leo studied at Falmouth College of Art, before spending time in London, and finally settling in his home town of Minehead in 2006. Leo has won numerous awards including the Sunday Times Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize in 2015, and his work is collected extensively and shown in galleries across the UK.
Leo’s meticulous aesthetic in watercolour has recently made way for a more abstracted visual approach in oil. The Exmoor landscape that continues to inspire is described in more vivid tones, applied with speed over many layers to satisfy the eye of the artist. But the underlying structure, built up using a variety of marks as seen in the watercolours, is still present in these bold new works.
You can see more of Leo’s work at his gallery and studio in Minehead.
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