Friday 31 October 2014

A Fourfold Fable

FABLES ARE BEING PAINTED in this South Western corner of England, and gathered for a unique and extraordinary exhibition of visual storytelling, to which all who would come and get lost in myth are invited! I'm delighted to announce that for the past while I have been concocting an exhibition of paintings for your delectation which will be held in Exeter over the first two weeks of December.


An exhibition of mythic paintings by four Devon artists

29th November - 12th December 2014
The Glorious Art House, 120 Fore St, Exeter



This winter, four mythic artists working from studios in the heart of Devon will be bringing their storied and otherworldly paintings to The Glorious Art House in Exeter.

For two weeks, as the nights draw in, you are invited to join us in the upstairs gallery on Fore Street for this extraordinary exhibition of visual storytelling and have uncanny enchantments reignited in the hearth of your old heart.

Original paintings, framed and unframed prints, cards, handmade items and more available to buy. Plus three floors of coffee, tea and delicious food!


Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 07.30-18.00 Sun: 10.00 - 16.00

Facebook event page link

I'm very excited to be exhibiting with three other incredible painters who also dip their paintbrushes into the pigments of the otherworlds. The Fourfold Fable exhibition will be held in the gallery on the top floor of the wonderfully colourful Glorious Art House in central Exeter. It's a warm and friendly cafe too, serving excellent coffee, tea and food, and we'd so love it if you could come and join us! You'll find one or more of us in the exhibition space every day, so do please feel free to come and chat and enjoy the fabulous view over the city of Exeter.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd whet your appetites with some art and studio photos from our four artists...


First, I want to introduce you to Anna Georghiou and Phil Bird - an artist couple (also talented musicians - see their music site Troubadour's Garden) living and working in Okehampton, Devon, whose work just blew me away the first time I laid eyes upon it. I felt I'd found kindred art-spirits; both Phil and Anna's paintings are full to the brim with story and peopled with soulful and uncanny beings. I was lucky enough to visit their home and studios recently and I share here some photos from my enchanted time in their Aladdin's cave of creativity.

Anna Georghiou has lived and worked in Cyprus, where she has family connections, and you can see the wonderful clarity of Mediterranean land and myth woven into her beautiful timeless works. She can spend years on a single painting, coming back to work on it again and again over time. Her works are large and textural in their painterliness. There is a powerful narrative shared amongst the people in her paintings, and the colours sing with light from distant skies.

The Calling by Anna Georghiou
Anna's Devon studio
Anna works on a clay sculpture
Close up of a painting in Anna's studio
Anna transports a painting on the bus 
The Blessing by Anna Georghiou
Close up of painting in Anna's studio
Anna's studio in Cyprus
Anna's Devon studio
painting by Anna Georghiou

Anna at exhibition in Slovenia, 2008
Anna's studio

Phil Bird's paintings are incredible layered narratives rooted in a deep visionary realm. Phil works on many paintings at once, and has a long career as an artist, spanning varying styles. These days his wonder-full paintings are small canvases, bursting with otherworldly stories, glorious colour, texture and myth. I find them utterly compelling.

Imaginary Constellations by Phil Bird
Phil's Devon studio
Detail of painting by Phil Bird
Looking toward Phil's studio, detail of his painting in foreground
Phil's Devon studio
Detail of painting by Phil Bird
Phil's studio and paintings hanging on the wall
Phil in his Cyprus studio
Voodoo Hat by Phil Bird
Phil's Cyprus studio
Persephone by Phil Bird

Michael Broad is a painter, book illustrator and writer. His picture books have been nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal and shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and the Nottingham Children's Book Award. He works from his studio in Exeter, and also explores themes of folklore and myth in his paintings. When I came across Michael's work for the first time, I felt I'd found another kindred storyteller in paint. His beings have a lovely melancholy and a sweet tenderness to them, and the beautiful night-time world of his paintings conjures a vivid and magical dream-sense of the world which shimmers just alongside this one.
Nocturnal Birds with Golden Gown by Michael Broad
Michael's studio
Feeding the Wild One by Michael Broad 
Michael at work in his studio
Michael's studio with current paintings in progress for the Fourfold Fable exhibition
Current work on Michael's easel
The Night Procession by Michael Broad
The Watcher and the Comet by Michael Broad
The Groom by Michael Broad
The Chair and the Crowd by Michael Broad
The Secret by Michael Broad - exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition 2014

And so lastly, I come to my own work, with which you are all familiar, but which you can peruse at my website, should you be new here! In the spirit of sharing studio photos, I'll show you a few glimpses of my studio-through-a-trapdoor, which I have thoroughly loved inhabiting this past year. There are occasional peeks of work in progress, but for the grand unveiling of yet-to be seen paintings, you'll have to come to the exhibition!

The Alchemist by Rima Staines
Rima's Dartmoor studio
Rima's Dartmoor studio
Rima's Dartmoor studio with painted sign
Rima's Dartmoor studio - with The Alchemist in handmade wooden niche-frame 
Rima's Dartmoor studio - the woodburner corner
Come Away O Human Child - oil painted wooden clock by Rima Staines
Dark Mountain by Rima Staines
Rima's Dartmoor studio - in spring!
Rima's Dartmoor studio - drawing board in sunlight
paints, coffee and chocolate!

Rima in studio mirror
Rima's Dartmoor studio - puppet carving in progress
The Weed Wife by Rima Staines
Rima paints The Weed Wife
Rima's Dartmoor studio - October 2014, with new work in progress.

And that's the four of us! A fabulous company, wouldn't you agree?
If you're local (or even a train-ride away!) and would like to come to the opening, please drop me an email. We'd all be most grateful if you could share this with friends and art lovers who might fancy a trip to the West Country this December; there'll be lots of small items, prints and cards and suchlike to buy too, if an original painting is beyond your budget. Feel free to share the flyer (above) and poster (below), and put these dates - 29th Nov - 12th Dec 2014 - in your diaries for an early winter feast for the imagination...