Cornwall Contemporary 1 Parade Street, Penzance

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Cornelia O'Donovan

a photograph of the artist Cornelia O'Donovan painting in her studio | Cornwall Contemporary“When I was a child, my sister and I would spend days making paper cardboard houses, sometimes villages – using toothpaste lids to make light bulbs, scraps of fabric for curtains, making interior worlds. That feeling never left me and still today I work with the idea of making something from nothing. It is fascinating, entirely insular and personal, but speaks of today and time and is a female voice. The first drawings and scribbles are stiff, then after I am relaxed enough, they begin to be playful. I work without judging or editing and it seems to pour out. I find the process of setting up, layering colour down, cutting up and arranging shapes totally absorbing. The time I spend working is a complete other world, a time to reflect and map out dreams, nightmares, my fears and obsessions. The images sometimes repeat themselves, playing out different roles and interpreting the same meaning again and again – images from the stories I collect, my own and other people’s lives, from film, paintings, poems and myths.”

Cornelia O’Donovan was born in 1981 and trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Her paintings which are inspired by folklore and poetry have been exhibited widely and have also been used for exclusive collections of ceramics, fabrics and clothing for Anthropologie which have been on display throughout their stores in the USA .

“Once she picks up a paintbrush, Cornelia is in a different world, layering colours and cutting and arranging shapes, to create flat paintings, stripped of all perspective and realism, which retells tales native to the British Isles. We were so taken with her work that we wanted a little piece of it for our own homes. We were delighted when she proposed a collection of ceramics for us that combines her love of colour, shape and the eccentricities of life with an everyday object.” Anthropologie

Her paintings are in private collections around the world.

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Cornwall Contemporary
1 Parade Street
Queens Square
TR18 4BU

Telephone: 01736 874749

opening times:
Monday - Saturday  10 - 5

Gallery Director:
Sarah Brittain-Mansbridge

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