October 11, 2017
Internationally-renowned Plymouth artist Barbara shows her love for the city with local exhibition
Plymouth art lovers will be in their element in October when a new exhibition opens in the city.
After 11 previous solo shows around the world, international artist Barbara de Mora, is holding an exhibition of paintings to celebrate living in the city with more than 40 pictures of local life round and about Plymouth’s shoreline.
Entitled ‘Loving Land and Sea’, the exhibition is the Gallery at Devonport Guildhall from October 5 to 28. It takes a delightful romp along the coast and quays of Plymouth. This collection promises a display of imaginative snapshots of local life, with canny observations of local harbours and characters touched lightly with humour.
Each picture has an element of fun and mystery, as well as its own slant on the meaning of shoreline communities. Many of the pictures tell a story, too.
Barbara has a long-term connection with the area, having had close family living in Plymouth since 1984. She remembers visiting the beautiful vista of the harbour and the quaint Barbican streets in the 1990s.
However, when her husband, Stephen de Mora, was appointed chief executive at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the world-leading scientific research institute based on the Hoe, they relocated to Plymouth in 2008.
At that time, Steve and Barbara rented rooms on Athenaeum Street, close to Beryl Cook’s residence. Locals delighted in telling Barb how they remembered Beryl leaning out a window on the upper floor to chat as they passed by.
Now Plymouth residents for almost ten years, Barbara and Steve are happily settled and have developed a fondness for all that the area has to offer. One of the reasons for staying is that Barbara continues to find inspiration in the beauty of the harbour, the friendliness of the people, and the scenery of the moors.
Hopefully, the association between land, sky and sea will continue to inspire her work, and the growing reputation developed in so many other countries will finally find a home.
Barbara has described her latest paintings as magical and illustrative. “They are colourful and cheerful,” she said, “showing people, animals and birds, and the relationships between them. You might even find a mermaid or two watching the shoreline activity! Barbara loves to paint water and has developed intriguing glazing techniques to show what may lie beneath the surface.”
While Barbara has her own truly original style, the British artists Beryl Cook and Stanley Spencer have been a big influence on her illustrations of people.
In addition, her creative expression comes from the landscapes of the Group of Seven in Canada and unique feminism of Frida Kahlo’s work. One of her most valued teachers, Lois McIvor from New Zealand showed Barb that it is not so much what you see on the outside that is important, but channelling an emotional response to a subject into a painting to brings about the most satisfactory results.
Visitors to the exhibition will find quality illustration with beautiful brushwork and painting skills; pictures that make you smile first, then think afterwards.
This is the going to be the largest exhibition of paintings by Barbara De Mora that Plymouth has known and is not to be missed.
Spend some time enjoying the wide range of images with superb colours and individual style, and learn about this artist in your midst. Original paintings will be on sale from ￡150 upwards.
Barbara will be holding ‘Meet the Artist’ sessions during the exhibition, with provisional dates as follows: Saturday October 14 at 11am; Thursday October 18 at 3pm; Saturday October 21 at 2pm and Saturday October 28 at 11am.
‘Loving Land and Sea’ takes place at the historic Devonport Guildhall in the Gallery from Thursday October 5 until Saturday October 28, from 10am until 4pm Mondays – Saturdays. Entrance is free
First published in the Plymouth Magazine – October 2017