cambridge contemporary art


2019 Winter Show

ceramics, exhibitions, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

Mixed Winter Show

at cambridge contemporary art 

12 January - 24 February 2019

We are so excited to have paintings by Anita Klein in the gallery. As always Anita's work focuses on those everyday moments we take for granted. Beautiful, life affirming paintings guaranteed to beat those January Blues!

We have two brand new artists to the gallery this month: Matt Horne and Jenni Cator.

We also have beautiful papercuts by Darin Mountand new work by Jacky Hawthorne and Lucy Howard.

Jacky Hawthorne’s paintings of still life, often with stylised flowers, are informed by her training in ceramics and her previous career as garden designer. Jacky uses acrylic on paper and her paintings are quirky, light-hearted and colourful. As with garden design there is a strong emphasis on balance and composition.

Born in Norwich, Jenni Cator trained in the North West, worked in London and now lives and paints in the Norfolk countryside. Jenni paints in oil on board, draws with pastel on paper and prints with lino. 

Matt Horne trained at Aylesford Pottery in Kent, developing his technical skills in production throwing before setting up his own workshop at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, in 2008.

Matt enjoys pushing the boundaries of form with contemporary, elegant and sometimes challenging shapes, which are complemented by the stunning colour combinations in his glazes.

All of his work is hand thrown in porcelain on the potter’s wheel and finished with crystalline glaze. Crystalline is a complex glazing process in which Zinc Silicate crystals form in the glaze during the firing, making every piece completely unique.

If you would like to be the first to receive information about one of the artists in one of the exhibitions below, contact us and we’ll be in touch when the new work arrives.

Gift Vouchers

Too many beautiful things to choose between?

If you can't make up your mind on what to choose we also have gift vouchers, available in any denomination and which can be redeemed across our two galleries.

Don't forget we can send most items anywhere in the world including gift vouchers!

Future exhibitions in cambridge contemporary art:

2 - 31 March 2019 - Landscape show featuring: Chrissy NormanRebecca Vincent, Sarah Johnson, Honor Surie, Terry Bryan, Penny FrithSue MundyKaren Bunting, Sam Walker 

6 April - 5 May 2019 - Abstract show featuring: Charlotte Cornish, Jane HollidgeSue Jones, C.E. Johnson, Tracey AshmanLara Scobie, Ann Lee, Peter ArscottSarah Hillman, Silvia K, Ruth Shelley 

11th May - 2nd June 2019 - Jo Tunmer Solo Show 

12 June - 2 September - Mixed Summer Show 

6 - 29 September 2019 - Rebecca Barnard 

5 - 27 October 2019 Angie Lewin and Lizzie Farey


Thank you for all your continuous support.

         You are helping artists to sustain their livelihood and  supporting two locally run independent galleries

        The work you buy will be unique and original - you won’t find it elsewhere in Cambridge

       Everything is handmade by artists working in the UK

Gail Brodholt and John Duffin

exhibitions, Painting, Printmaking, ceramicscambridge contemporary artComment

Gail Brodholt and John Duffin

at cambridge contemporary art 

8 - 30 September 2018

We are in for a real treat this September at cambridge contemporary art, with a city-themed exhibition by London-based painter-printmakers Gail Brodholt and John Duffin. Both artists are renowned for their striking depictions of urban environments, each interpreting modern life in the city in their own way. We can't wait to see their work side by side. 

Both artists will be at the gallery for a meet & greet on Saturday 15th September from 2-4pm. Not to be missed!

John Duffin
 is well known for his high contrast black and white etchings focusing on contemporary urban life and metropolitan architecture. His choice of point of view creates an almost cinematic effect. In addition to Duffin's etchings, we will also have a number of his oil paintings on display.

Gail Brodholt creates richly coloured linocuts of modern cityscapes, focusing especially on scenes of urban travel. London's railways, metro trains and tube stations feature prominently with city dwellers on their way across the London transport network.  Gail's expert eye for composition and her distinctive bold lines result in strong graphic images.

Alongside John and Gail's work, we will be showing ceramics

by Maree Allitt and Jane Hollidge.

JH-152 NWEB.jpg

Meet and Greet with our featured artists

Meet the artist, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment
From left: Helen Millar, Anne-Marie Butlin and Ruth Beloe

From left: Helen Millar, Anne-Marie Butlin and Ruth Beloe

We had a great time hosting our opening event for the exhibition of paintings by Ruth Beloe, Anne-Marie Butlin and Helen Millar. We couldn't ask for a better beginning to the Bank Holiday Weekend. Thank you to all who visited the gallery! 

The exhibition continues till 17th June.

Photography by Zuza Grubecka

Paine Proffitt, Helen Martino and Verity Pulford exhibition

exhibitions, Glass, ceramics, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

Paine ProffittHelen Martino and Verity Pulford

exhibition at cambridge contemporary art 

28th April - 20th May 2018

Our current exhibition at cambridge contemporary art is three-person show featuring ceramics by Helen Martino, paintings by Paine Proffitt and glass by Verity Pulford.


Cambridge-based artist Helen Martino creates beautiful ceramic sculptures with a strong sense of narrative. She is a master in rendering gestures and facial expressions. Helen has been a regular exhibitor at our gallery since it first opened in the 1990s and is a founding member of Cambridge Open Studios.







While Paine Proffitt is perhaps best known for his sports-themed work, his new paintings depict fairytale-like scenes of queenly women in stately gowns, with birds and starry skies in the background. Proffitt's richly coloured paintings are created using layers of acrylic on canvas. They are nostalgic in feel and stylistically they reference elements of cubism and surrealism.



Glass artist Verity Pulford takes inspiration from the stunning countryside and wildlife around her in North Wales. She is fascinated by the ever changing light and the magical qualities this gives the plants and trees within the landscape. Using fusing, sandblasting, hand-painting and etching she tries to capture these qualities in her work.


Shazia Mahmood and Anthony Theakston exhibition at cambridge contemporary art 

exhibitions, ceramics, Painting, Sculpturecambridge contemporary artComment

Shazia Mahmood and Anthony Theakston

exhibition at cambridge contemporary art 

30th March - 22nd April 2018

Shazia Mahmood returns to cambridge contemporary art for her sixth exhibition at the gallery. A recent trip to Holkham, staying in a nearby beach hut has inspired this new body of work and a new palette. The never ending skies and seas of Norfolk hold a special place in her heart.

On Friday 20th April from 6pm to 7.30pm, painter Shazia Mahmood will be in the gallery to chat about her practice. This is a great opportunity to meet the artist in an informal environment and enjoy a glass of bubbly after a long week. This is a freedrop-in event. We kindly ask to register here to monitor the number of visitors during the event. 

Anthony Theakston creates a range of ceramics inspired primarily by bird form and movement. He begins his work by drawing quick sketches from nature to capture a striking form which he then refines these drawings into a design on paper, trying not to lose the initial expressive action which rough sketches can capture.

We are delighted to have such a selection of Anthony’s work. We are the only gallery to show his ceramics during 2017 and 2018.

Emma Green in our March Exhibition

exhibitions, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

For our March exhibition at cambridge contemporary art, we are very excited to have new oil paintings by Emma Green.

Emma Green is a contemporary landscape painter based in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Following a Foundation course in Art and Design at Ipswich Art School, Emma went on to do a Fine Art Degree in Hull. After graduating in 2001, she returned to Suffolk. Working from her studio by the river Deben, Emma is strongly inspired by the coastal environment around her. Being immersed in this landscape, Emma creates semi abstract paintings exploring its wildness, its remoteness and the evocative, fleeting changes in light and atmosphere.

Emma’s new collection of work for spring continues to draw upon the changing light and atmosphere of the river Deben. Every hour, every day, the clouds, sunlight, rain or mist alters the landscape below, the trees along the shoreline, the mudflats and the surface of the water at high tide. Emma works in an intuitive way, always exploring the material qualities of the oil paint, adding texture inspired by the plants along the tow path, the flocks of wader birds that fly up or patterns and debris from old boats left in the mud.

Emma Green is coming to the gallery for an informal meet & greet on Sunday 18th March . The event is free, but we kindly ask to register here.

This free exhibition runs from 3rd - 25th March 2018. We are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.


March Exhibition at cambridge contemporary art

exhibitions, Printmaking, Painting, Woodcambridge contemporary artComment

For our landscape-themed March exhibition at cambridge contemporary art, we are very excited to have new oil paintings by Emma Green, prints by Iona Howard and wooden trugs by Jane Crisp who is new to the gallery.

Emma Green is a contemporary landscape painter based in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Working from her studio by the river Deben, Emma is strongly inspired by the coastal environment around her. Emma’s new collection of work draws on the changing light and atmosphere of the river Deben.


Iona Howard’s fine art prints similarly express an intimate connection with landscape, mainly the flat fenland near her Cambridgeshire studio. Howard’s work has more recently been informed by a year-long collaboration with the Fenland Poet Laureate, Kate Caoimhe Arthur. Arthur’s poetry will be displayed alongside Howard’s prints, allowing a conversation to emerge between the two bodies of works both inspired by the fen-edge landscape.


Working from her home studio and workshop surrounded by beautiful countryside in Hale Fen, Cambridgeshire, Jane Crisp creates steam-bent trugs. The inspiration for her sculptural vessels comes from the Norfolk reeds and draws on her creative personal connections with local heritage and low-tech processes.



We are hosting a poetry and music event on Thursday 15th March from 6-7pm. Kate Caoimhe Arthur who will be doing a poetry reading, accompanied by guitar music by Dominic Howard and sound recordings from the Fens.

Iona Howard will also be at the gallery to give a talk about her printmaking practice on Sunday 18th March at 2pm. This is a free event. This is a great chance to meet the artist and learn more about her printmaking process.

This free exhibition runs from 3rd - 25th March 2018. We are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

New paintings by Moira Hazel and Dan Bennett - ​​​​​​​6th - 4th June 2017

Painting, Glass, exhibitions, Meet the artistcambridge contemporary art2 Comments

New paintings by Moira Hazel and Dan Bennett 6th-4th June 2017

The new exhibition at cambridge contemporary art  Photo by  Zuza Grubecka

The new exhibition at cambridge contemporary art

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

This May, we are adding a serious splash of colour to our gallery walls with an exhibition of colourful paintings and vibrant glass work by contemporary British artists.

Moira Hazel has a compulsive desire to paint, create, make marks and produce vivid and expressive work. She uses lively surface texture and intense colours. Moira loves to travel at home and abroad for inspiration. She especially enjoys the vibrant colours, light and brightness of the Mediterranean regions and she is fascinated by the fishing villages of the West Country.

On Saturday 4th June between 12pm and 2pm Moira Hazel will be in the gallery for a 'meet and greet' and to chat about her paintings. Please join the event here.


Moira Hazel    Winding road  acrylic on canvas  61x61cm

Moira Hazel

Winding road

acrylic on canvas


Moira Hazel  's work on display in the gallery  Photo by  Zuza Grubecka

Moira Hazel's work on display in the gallery

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

Moira Hazel    Red and green  acrylic on canvas  40x40cm

Moira Hazel

Red and green

acrylic on canvas


Dan Bennett's paintings are inspired by phosphenes, intricate swirling patterns that form before the inner eye, which have intrigued Dan since his childhood. By capturing these fleeting patterns in the form of plants and other organisms, Dan is expressing his belief in the oneness of life, and hinting at a glimpse of an underlying structure he thought he once saw out of the corner of his eye.

Dan Bennett    Ficus 2   acrylic  90x90cm

Dan Bennett

Ficus 2 



Dan Bennett  's work on display in the gallery  Photo by  Zuza Grubecka

Dan Bennett's work on display in the gallery

Photo by Zuza Grubecka

Dan Bennett    Roche Aux Sabots  acrylic  90x90cm

Dan Bennett

Roche Aux Sabots



Alongside the paintings, we have filled the gallery with beautiful colourful glass work by McNeill GlassVerity Pulford, Catriona MacKenzieRuth Shelley and Scott Irvine.

Meet the artist - Mychael Barratt

Printmaking, Etching, Meet the artist, exhibitions, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

For our new exhibition at cambridge contemporary art, Mychael Barratt has filled the walls with his original prints and paintings,  showing an eclectic mix of themes representing all of his major artistic passions. His work is on show from 3rd -23rd September alongside ceramics by Vicky Lindo, Jane Hollidge and Gwen Vaughan. 

To learn more about the way Mychael works we have asked him a few questions.

How did you get started with your art career?
About 25 years ago, I was walking by the Thames when I popped in to the Royal Festival Hall to get out of the rain. There was a printmaking exhibition on in the foyer and I was so impressed that I started an etching course at Central St Martins the following week. I had been working as a painter before but that was when I started printmaking. 

How do you go about making a new piece?
For big pieces the idea is always the starting point. Once I have the inspiration I start on doing the research and usually don't do any drawing until I've virtually planned the whole thing out in my head. The paintings are much more spontaneous. 

What is your preferred medium/colour pallet to use?
I love both painting and printmaking. As I make them in two separate studios and approach them so differently I couldn't say which is a favourite medium. In printmaking, my heart is definitely in etching.

What inspired the range of work that we have in the gallery?
The work in the gallery was inspired by various things. The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare has had a huge impact on my work, inspiring at least three pieces. A recent visit walking around Cambridge has obviously inspired a couple of the paintings.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

A Map of Shakespeare's London


We are currently showing your dog works, how do you go about selecting the artist that you paying homage to?
The artists are all ones whose work I admire but the most crucial thing is that little eureka moment when I get an idea that makes me laugh. They are sincere homages made with a huge level of care but are also hopefully quite funny. 

Is it challenging emulating all the different styles of your dog works? What is the style that you are most pleased to have achieved?
Emulating the style of the different artists is always a challenge because it forces me to work in unfamiliar manners. The one I am most pleased with is probably the Turner. I am constantly learning by doing these and painting the Hockney's dogs was definitely the most fun and has probably had the biggest impact on how I paint. 

Turner's Dog

Hockney's Dogs

Which other artists do you admire?
I admire so many artists and have a large art library. In printmaking, Rembrandt, Goya, Hogarth, Chris Orr and Grayson Perry. In painting my heart is definitely with Chagall although I think the way I work is more like Hopper. The list would be endless. 

Could you describe a typical working day?
I divide a typical day up between research and practical work and a perfect day would see me doing some printmaking and some painting. I'm happiest when I have a huge stretch of drawing ahead of me.

How do you see your work evolving in the future?
In the future I plan to do at least a couple more huge maps and carry on with the other strands and themes of my work like the artist's dogs and cats. Really I want to just keep getting better! 

Meet Mychael Barratt in the gallery on Saturday 24 September, 1-3pm. Mychael will be at cambridge contemporary art (6 Trinity Street, Cambridge) showing visitors how he produces his work.

September exhibition at CCA

Printmaking, Painting, ceramics, exhibitionscambridge contemporary artComment

You and your friends are warmly invited to the exhibition preview on Saturday 3rd September from 11 am. You can meet Mychael Barratt at the gallery on Saturday 3rd September, 11-1pm and Saturday 24th September, 1-3pm.

 exhibition runs 3rd -23rd September 2016

Painter and printmaker Mychael Barratt creates works that are full of detail, humour and a great sense of storytelling. He draws inspiration from sources as diverse as fairy tales, historical figures and Shakespearean dramas to classic paintings and pop culture. Mychael has created a range of work that features famous artists and their pets, skillfully re-imagined in the original artist’s style, resulting in a humorous sense of déjá vu.

Mychael Barratt

Edward Hopper's Dog


Mychael Barratt

Stray Cats and Lost Sonnets


Mychael Barratt

Magritte's Dogs

oil on panel

Vicky Lindo Ceramics is the creative partnership of Vicky Lindo and William Brookes. Producing earthenware slip cast ceramics, they use coloured underglazes and slips to illustrate and decorate their tableware and animal figures. We are delighted to welcome them to our gallery.

Jane Hollidge's pots are all made by hand, using coiling and pinching methods. Some are then burnished for smoke firing.  Jane likes to keep the shapes simple and decorates her post with abstract designs in vibrant colours using velvet glazes.

Gwen Vaughan creates figurative sculptural pieces using the traditional technique of pinching. Gwen works with a rich black clay, and carves into the surface to create a texture inspired by the qualities of slate and stone. She uses washes of coloured slip to enhance textural detail.

Vicky Lindo

Bear Pot Black and Gold


Gwen Vaughan



Jane Hollidge



Brenda Hartill, Illona Morrice and Lara Scobie Exhibition

Printmaking, Painting, ceramics, Sculpture, exhibitionscambridge contemporary artComment

cambridge contemporary art is delighted to launch a new exhibition with prints and paintings by Brenda Hartill, sculptures by Illona Morrice and ceramics by Lara Scobie. The exhibition runs from 28th May until 19th June. You and your friends are warmly invited to the exhibition preview on Friday 27th May from 6pm to 7pm.

Brenda Hartill is an innovative British painter and printmaker based in East Sussex. Her work explores the texture, pattern and light of landscape in richly coloured and textured images, often enhanced with silver and gold leaf. Brenda's strong fascination with the primeval, essential structure of the earth and its elements has heavily influenced her prints. While her primary aim is to develop abstract images in the studio, Brenda’s work is firmly rooted in the landscape, and she often finds it necessary to return to it. Whilst known especially for her print-making skills, Brenda has in recent years focussed her attention on a series of watercolours on handmade paper, embossed using her print-making techniques and presses.


Brenda Hartill

Cool Sun I

embossed watercolour

Brenda Hartill

Rainbow Storm VI

embossed watercolour


Like Brenda Hartill, sculptor Illona Morrice takes her inspiration from the landscape that surrounds her. Living by the sea on the Moray coast in Scotland, Illona uses the rock, stones and wildlife on the beach and in the mountains as a source of creativity. Over the years, Illona has realised she can say more with less, so her sculptures have become more simplified. Her stoneware clay sculptures are individually made by hand, and no two are ever the same. Illona also creates sculptures which are cast in bronze. Each piece is different, and only a small edition is made.


Illona Morrice


glazed stoneware

Illona Morrice


glazed stoneware on soapstone


Lara Scobie is a ceramicist based in Edinburgh whose work is predominantly concerned with the dynamic interplay between form and pattern. This is explored through the cohesive integration of drawing, surface mark making and volume. Lara is interested in the space that surrounds pattern as much as the hue and texture of the decorated surface. Surface patterns and colour observed in botanical life enable Lara to explore her love of colour and abstract pattern making.


Lara Scobie



Lara Scobie

Set of Pourers



Brenda Hartill will be giving a talk about her collagraph printing methods, as well as her unique painting and collage techniques on Saturday 18 June at 3pm. Book a free place by email, in person at the gallery or over the phone on 01223 324222.

Reg Cartwright, Michael Lythgoe and Sarah Went Exhibition

Painting, ceramics, Woodcambridge contemporary artComment

Grey Still Life with Fish

This May, cambridge contemporary art is proud to present new paintings by Reg Cartwright, accompanied by Sarah Went’s ceramics and Michael Lythgoe’s sculptures. The exhibition runs from 30th April until 22nd May. You are warmly invited to the exhibition preview on Saturday 30th April from 11am to 1pm.

Reg Cartwright is an award-winning painter and illustrator from Leicester whose work has been exhibited around the world. He began his career as a graphic designer and became a full-time painter and illustrator in 1976. As an illustrator, he is well known for a series of picture books for young readers which he created in collaboration with his wife Ann. As a painter, he creates deceptively simple-looking still-lifes in which he renders everyday objects through subtle abstraction to focus on the tone, colour and physical qualities of his subject matter.

Suffolk Estuary

Reg Cartwright returns to cambridge contemporary art for his eighth major exhibition. His paintings continue the tradition of British Modernism, calling to mind that of St Ives School painters Ben Nicholson and William Scott. Working primarily with still life, Reg uses familiar objects such as jugs, plates and flowers as a pretext for examining complex spatial relationships. His paintings are less about the objects he paints and more about achieving a balanced and pleasing composition, attaining this by flattening perspective, omitting non-essential details and focusing on tone.


Bewicks Swan

Michael Lythgoe was born in Liverpool in 1950 and trained as an engineer. During a holiday in the Cape Cod region he purchased an old wooden decoy which inspired him to change careers and become a professional artist, creating wooden bird and fish carvings. Inspired by the early North American decoys Michael's stylised curvilinear representations of wildfowl and waders have now evolved into a style and form entirely unique to him. His sculptures are curvaceous and calming, combining the eye of an ornothologist with the precision of an engineer. Each sculpture is unique, carved from blocks of wood and then sympathetically painted.

Two Grass Ruffle Vases


Sarah Went is a Cambridge-based contemporary slipware potter who uses the traditional techniques of slip-trailing and sgraffito to create texture and pattern. Her work is hand-thrown on the potter’s wheel and individually decorated. Sarah uses porcelain clay which gives a delicate translucent quality to her work and is perfect for the soft, subtle colours that she uses. When making her glazes, Sarah aims for natural colours reminiscent of the sea, sand and plants around the coast or from her garden. 

Meet the artist - Gael Sellwood

Meet the artist, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

We are pleased to introduce you to Gael Sellwood. Gael has created a series of paintings for our current Spring exhibition.

We discovered Gael's work at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, Gael is a RHS gold medal winning botanical and natural history artist who creates highly detailed work. She captures the beautiful but often ephemeral natural objects around us. To find out more about Gael and her paintings, we asked her a few questions:


How do you go about starting a new painting?

I am largely colour and texture driven.  By this I mean that the subject – whether a flower, insect, shell or feather - feels right and seems to speak to me until I take it into the studio to start work on it.  I usually have an idea of how a finished piece will look.  I also develop a feel for the layout as I want to recreate a place or a season on the paper simply with the natural objects I find around.

Gael at her desk

Sign of the Times September 

How did you get started with your art career?

I loved biology and art at school.  I especially loved going on a nature walk and gathering small natural objects, plants and flowers and bringing them back to place on the nature table.  We were encouraged to look at the textures and colours and I always felt a connection with the objects.  After leaving school I did an evening class in botanical drawing at Capel Manor College.  It created similar feelings for me to those evoked by the nature table.  I was hooked. To start with I worked part time as a painter whilst having a full time day job.  Over the past few years painting (and some teaching of the subject) has been my main occupation.


What is your preferred medium to use?

I LOVE watercolour; especially wet into wet.  I love the slightly uncontrolled aspect of watercolour and how you cannot quite predict the result you will get.  I have been using watercolour for years now, having used oils and pastels at school.  Recently I have been using very strongly pigmented paints and also natural mineral paints, just mixed with glycerin and gum arabic.  These contribute to the resulting colours and textures on paper.


What are you currently inspired by?

Colour and texture.  Oh and the seasons.  I love the idea that you can take the viewer to a hedgerow with some primroses and pussy willow, or to a bed in the garden, perhaps tended by a much loved older relative just with a full blown rose on paper.  I am also slightly pre-occupied by the thought of plants that we just cannot manage without.  This is an idea that is just beginning to take shape in my mind.  I will see where it leads but no doubt it will go somewhere.

My Heart Rests in the Garden

Enduring love

My Heart's Beside the Sea

Which other artists do you admire?

I love the clever sparseness of printmaking, especially the work of Angie Lewin and Angela Harding.  My most revered painter is Rory McEwen.  I also admire the work of Albrecht Durer, especially his great piece of turf.  I love the rich colours and patterns of Gustav Klimt


Could you describe a typical working day?

When in my studio I start by lighting the woodburner and tuning in the radio or getting an audio book ready.  I then wander round our 3½ acre conservation garden, wood and paddock for inspiration and ideas.  The weather, the light and what I find all play a part in deciding what to do. I then go back into the studio and start with a light line drawing.  Colour and form come next, usually working wet into wet. While topping up the woodburner and listening to the radio or a book, I become engrossed in my work.  The studio has no computer or telephone so I can work for several hours without interruption.  I usually have lots of short breaks though just to keep the work fresh and to make sure my neck doesn't get too stiff.


How do you see your work evolving in the future?

Even when I am not in the studio I am thinking about painting.  I may be driving and the wayside plants make me think about compositions or other ideas.  Cuttings from magazines might show combined colours that I think will work well on the paper.  I am interested in developing some work that combines contrasting textures, shapes and colours.  At the moment I am luxuriating in thinking about them. The planning work will take shape this Spring, in between exhibiting and running a few workshops.


Meet the artist - Mani Parkes

Meet the artist, Paintingcambridge contemporary artComment

We are delighted to introduce you to Mani Parkes. Mani has created a series of paintings for our current 'Art For The Heart' exhibition.

We first discovered Mani's work after seeing one of her paintings on Facebook, and thought her work would be perfect for our exhibition. Each of her pieces are delicately painted, and give a glimpse into the lives of her characters. To find out more about Mani and her paintings, we asked her a few questions:

How do you go about starting a new painting?

If I'm creating work for a specific gallery I like to find inspiration from the local area. I love looking for quirky buildings, landscapes, distinctive features and characters. I find Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. Once I have an idea, I draw a simple doodle in my sketchbook, jotting down ideas as I go. As soon as I'm happy with the sketch I embark on the actual painting.

Sealed with a Kiss

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine

Guest of Honour

How did you get started with your art career? 

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist. My mum has often told me that as soon as I could hold a pencil all I ever wanted to do was draw. As a small child I remember receiving a tin of Reeves watercolour paints for Christmas and it felt like the best present in the world, I can still remember the smell of the paint. 

What is your preferred medium to use?

 I love using Acrylics as they dry very quickly and I’m impatient to add all the tiny details to my pictures. I like to use muted colours building up the layers as I go.

A Lovely Cup of Tea

Love is in the Air

What are you currently inspired by?

At the moment I am inspired by the beautiful county of Dorset. I have lots of lovely photographs and memories from our summer holiday. The charming landscape, beautiful thatched cottages and our children playing on the windswept beaches are an endless source of inspiration.

Which other artists do you admire?

I admire so many artists, Elaine Pamphilon, Dee Nickerson, Emma McClure, Mary Newcomb, Mary Fedden, James Newton Adams and Gary Bunt to name but a few.

Could you describe a typical working day? 

After the school run I cycle home and pop the kettle and the radio on, sitting at my living room table, I turn my simple sketchbook doodles into cheerful paintings. My bulldog Florence is never far away, giving me moral support and snoring very loudly! I paint until my family arrives home. I check my emails in the evening and have a peek at all the lovely artists on Facebook.

'Art for The Heart', Exhibition, Cambridge Contemporary Art