Elaine Pamphilon & Christopher Marvell
Arundel Festival & Gallery Trail exhibition
11 August to 2 September
Open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm
At Zimmer Stewart Gallery we always try to present something special during August, something a bit different working with more established artists. In the past we have shown Sir Terry Frost, Patrick Caulfield and Howard Hodgkin in this month.
Our reason for this is that when the Gallery Trail is on, we are suddenly exhibiting alongside 60 other venues and expect to have more visitors over the ten days of the Festival than at any other time of the year.
This year in our 15th year, we are showing paintings by Elaine Pamphilon alongside bronze sculptures by her husband, Christopher Marvell. We have exhibited their work before, but never together as a joint exhibition.
Elaine Pamphilon was born into a musical family, and so it was not surprising that she too became a musician; at the age of just 10 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study the harp and piano. At her solo exhibition with us in 2015, Elaine Pamphilon played the harp at the private view, it was enchanting!
She started to paint in the mid 1980's at Homerton College, Cambridge after encouragement from her husband.
As a curator, I like to work with artists who have a discernible style, and Elaine Pamphilon's paintings do just that. Her work is characterised by bright, vibrant colours and confident, free, naive, almost folk art style. Her influences are the painters of the 1940's and 50's - Ben Nicholson, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
Subjects for her paintings come from music, literature, still life and the landscape - particularly that around her studio in St Ives or her home in Cambridge.
Christopher Marvell studied art at Newcastle, where he was influenced by the British Bauhaus of Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. Later he moved to Cambridge, where he set up a studio at Fulbourn Manor with artist/designer Marjorie Townley. Christopher is involved at every stage of making his bronzes, which he likes to make in small editions of less than five.
The range of subjects for Christopher Marvell’s sculptures includes birds, animals and people, but they always have the same hand both in terms of the composition and manner of creation. For example a dog does not really look like a dog, but we still recognise it.
Both Elaine Pamphilon and Christopher Marvell each have a studio, and often give each other critical opinions on work in progress. Having worked together, and often exhibited together for over 20 years, they trust each other to say exactly what they think and know that any advice given is honest and valuable.
They are passionate about Jim Ede’s avant garde collection of art at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, and that was a catalyst for them buying a house/studio in St Ives, behind Barbara Hepworth’s garden. They were lucky enough to meet many of the great St Ives Modern British painters (such as Sandra Blow and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham).
So it is not surprising that there is more than a hint of St Ives in their work, and in the exhibition of paintings and sculptures that we have chosen for their joint exhibition this August.