I am so very excited about my solo exhibition at the Art5 Gallery in Brighton this April. Brighton is the jewel in the crown of seaside towns and has so much to offer. It is vibrant, alternative unconventional and uber-hip. Full of funky cafes, independent breweries, vintage shops and amazing buskers, it is a joy to discover. Bohemian, warm and inclusive. Then there’s the sea too!
I first came to Brighton University to read philosophy and literature when I was twenty-three, the age my daughter Poppy is now! I have fond memories of these student days where I met many lifelong friends whom I still deeply cherish. These were colourful years, and in many ways are responsible for making me who I am today; the ethos of Brighton, its tolerance and quest for exploration is woven into the fabric of my being.
My degree taught me many things, not least to look beyond the surface and extract a deeper understanding of the thoughts and reasoning behind words. I learnt that there were many dimensions, of our experiences and reality. That much depended on the lens we choose to adopt. These concepts still feed into my artistic practice today and my wildflower paintings consist of a multitude of layers, each open to interpretation by the viewer. I weave joy and blessings into each piece and it is my intention that my work touches people. I believe in the power of love.
Art and Culture in Brighton
I was lucky. I was introduced to Brighton at a particularly exciting time. The underground, alternative culture was strong. We carved the beginnings of better and more sustainable ways of living. It was an edgy, fertile period of creativity. Community was celebrated, and we shaped each other with our hopes and idealism.
This was also the era that the dance scene was just emerging in the UK and Brighton found itself at the heart of it all. Life was full of gigs and parties, some in clubs and pubs but many of them on the beach, the beat of the bass competing with the sound of the waves breaking over the shingle. The stars shining above glittering more brightly than any nightclub lights. Hundreds of people dancing to house music. It was a period of experimentation and learning about who we all were.
After completing my degree I conceived my daughter Poppy. This was undoubtedly the most heart-opening event in my life. Her father is a talented musician and her early years were saturated in jams, gatherings, and deep creativity and it was wonderful to be part of such a beautiful and vibrant scene.
Poppy and I also travelled a lot in these early days, both with a horse-drawn community and regular extended periods in Southern Spain. Our home in Brighton was always such a nurturing, welcoming space to return to.
When my daughter was school-age I formally established my art career… I pursued my foundation course at Eastbourne Art School followed by a three years at Northbrook College in Worthing. During this training I explored drawing, textile and printmaking work in addition to beginning my love affair with oil paints. Techniques learnt at this time still deeply feed into my practice today.
Yvonne Coomber Solo at the Art5 Gallery in Brighton
When Poppy was nine we moved to the Westcountry, gravitating towards more wildness, but I still have a very special place in my heart for Brighton. It is a deep honour to have a solo show annually at the Art5 Gallery in my old home town.
The Art5 Gallery in Brighton represents a diverse selection of local, national and international artists, showcasing an extensive range of original art, limited edition prints and handmade ceramics. Following last year’s success of my solo show entitled “My Heart’s Song” at the Art5 gallery in Brighton, I am delighted about the prospect of showing you what I have been working on. “Love Dances Here” is a free exhibition running from 7-15th April 2017, with a private view on 6th April. I will be showing my latest collection of wildflower paintings, wild seascapes and expansive landscapes as well as my new experimental abstract work. I do hope to meet some of you there.
With love and blessings,