Cornwall Contemporary 1 Parade Street, Penzance

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Emma Dunbar

2 - 30 April 2022

Emma Dunbar – Goats, Boats and an Abundance of Flowers  

We are delighted to present this joyful collection of paintings by Emma Dunbar featuring her bold and beautiful portrayal of flowers, dogs, harbours, goats, gulls, cows and a special selection of paintings of flowers in Ben Nicholson mugs.

Born in  England in 1961, Emma Dunbar graduated in 1984 with a  BA(hons) in Fine Art Printmaking from West Surrey College of Art and Design. Since then she has worked full time as an artist and exhibited widely throughout the UK. Her paintings have been internationally reproduced as greetings cards, posters, limited edition etchings and fabric designs.

What keeps her inspired to paint is the quest to try and capture the essence of a place, or an object, she does not worry about visual accuracy – she is attracted to vivid colours and the decorative qualities in everyday objects. Working on birch panels in acrylic, occasionally incorporating collage with gold and silver leaf, her training as a printmaker is evident both in the use of blocks of flat colour and in the way she scratches through surfaces to reveal pre-laid colours underneath.

“I am a collector of objects that will turn up in my paintings. For me, one of the highlights of the Ben Nicholson exhibition, ‘From the studio’ at Pallant House in 2021,was seeing displays of tableware that he had in his studio that he lived and worked with, alongside the paintings in which they appear. I have borrowed some of his beautiful striped and spotted jugs and mugs and put my own flowers in them. The pieces will be familiar and have inspired this group of small paintings.

Daily dog walks, holidays, trips to the supermarket and the chaos of cats, dogs and children wandering onto wet paint all provide inspiration . Landscapes, new seasons, colour combinations, bright green grass against a blue grey sky or shapes of moored boats in a harbour, patterns on packaging all get me going. Fabulous bunches of flowers on a flattened table are frequently all I need and I am regularly purchasing new mugs for the next painting!”


order the catalogue that accompanies Emma Dunbar’s exhibition here.

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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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