Page 1




T h e D r awing 2

oil on paper

101 x 47 cm


The Meeting Place is Joy Wolfenden Brown’s first

In fact, with a developed sense of confidence we witness a

exhibition at Millennium. I have, however, had the

marked development in scale. Much larger works on board

pleasure of working with her on numerous occasions

brush shoulders with the more familiar small scale paintings

whilst Director at Goldfish Contemporary Fine Art.

on oil soaked paper. The presence of these larger pieces is imposing as well as intimate. Their inclusion enforces

Her work is made in her tiny studio set in an attic room

her stature.

at the top of her house. The ceilings are pitched, and relatively low, so she works mainly around or on the paint

So much contemporary figurative painting makes cultural

splatted floor. The studio feels like an inner sanctum. I’m

reference, analysing the society that we live in – often

not sure if anyone else is allowed in to the space but a visit

taking an external vantage point or ‘third person’

has that sense of rare priveledge. It feels totally hers. Her

perspective. What is rarer is to see work that speaks so

paintings extend the experience.

truthfully about the human condition in such an unguarded personal way – from the core – the result is timeless.

There remains

something so extraordinarily fragile

within her paintings. Even the rawness of the application

The German Expressionist artist Kathe Kollwitz once

suggests a vulnerability; these are works that leave

urged us to ‘look at life with the eyes of a child’. For me

nothing for the artist or the viewer to hide behind. It is totally

the power of Wolfenden Brown’s painting is to remind us

appropriate to attribute that often over used term ‘honesty’

of the child who lurks within all of us. The autonomous

to Wolfenden Brown’s work.

solitary state that we find ourselves in behind our own imposed screen is laid bare, and the attempt to come to

Early on in her career, part of me nervously anticipated,

terms with that and to share ourselves is both the struggle

that as her reputation grew (as it has), that this essence in

and goal. I relate to these paintings wholeheartedly, I

her work could evaporate in the glare of recognition or

never tire of them.

acclaim. It never has. Joseph Clarke. 2010 3

“There is a river of life all around. But you can’t push it. Try softer” John Ortberg

In many ways if I speak about my work I could just say that I paint pictures and that I would be very sad if I had to stop. In fact, I think I would be filled with grief. All speaking can be difficult and contains risk. When we speak aloud we may select what we show of ourselves according to who we are and who we are with. In the quiet of my studio I find a meeting place where silent conversations unfold. They flit to and fro like little birds carrying messages or flow like a river that gently awakens a dormant heart. For every life there are things that remain unspoken. If they could be photographed they might be caught in the light as flashes or fragments of no especial significance but they would record a life unseen or a conversation otherwise unheard. A passing scent may stir a longing for something precious that is hard to identify and thought lost. Sometimes when I paint my heart races or flutters as if I am uncovering a secret love. In showing my paintings I hope that they offer the viewer a meeting place for their ‘unspoken’, and I always hope that the viewer will feel free to take from the paintings whatever they will.

Joy Wolfenden Brown. 2010 3


oil on board

122 x 106 cm


S h e H i d es a n d She Seeks 6

oil on paper

19 x 53 cm

H e S ees H er Gentle Madness

oil on paper

51 x 23 cm 7


H e r M o ther’s Room

oil on board

122 x 61 cm


N i g h t Watch 10

oil on board

62 x 40 cm

T h e Lane

oil on board

62 x 40 cm 11

A Q u i et Town 12

oil on paper

26 x 39 cm

T h e O r a ng e Bridg e

oil on paper

21 x 35 cm 13

N ew B aby 14

oil on paper

35 x 32 cm

L o s t Wisdom

oil on paper

55 x 44 cm 15

H er Fa mily 16

oil on paper

78 x 24 cm

S eeing

oil on paper

129 x 35 cm 17

U n s p o ken


oil on board

138 x 104 cm


U n h ea rd 20

oil on paper

15 x 17 cm

C anute

oil on paper

14 x 27 cm 21

D r es s Rehearsal 22

oil on paper

29 x 35 cm

T h e Play

oil on paper

30 x 21 cm 23

T h e C a ke Stall 24

oil on canvas

46 x 61 cm

H e r Mother

oil on paper

100 x 28 cm 25

C h i l d i n a Pi nk Cardi 26

oil on paper

39 x 28 cm

L i ttle Face

oil on paper

9 x 12 cm 27

H e i r l o oms 28

oil on paper

13 x 19 cm

H eiress

oil on paper

85 x 39 cm 29


T h e M eeting Place

oil on board

121 x 123 cm


A n E ch o i n g Bark 32

oil on paper

32 x 35 cm

T h e Harbour

oil on paper

26 x 36 cm 33

H e r G a r den


oil on board

84 x 41 cm



S a f e Home

oil on board

122 x 61 cm


B l a ck b ird 38

oil on paper

29 x 20 cm

T h e B i r d s and the Bees

oil on paper

35 x 24 cm 39

T h e I s l and 40

oil on paper

37 x 34 cm

T h e Boat

oil on paper

29 x 46 cm 41

T h e T i m i d Dog 42

oil on paper

28 x 22 cm

S te p p i ng Stones

oil on paper

29 x 26 cm 43

Girl 44

oil on paper

33 x 15 cm

T h e G ood Girl

oil on paper

27 x 22 cm 45

T h e G u es t Room


oil on board

122 x 61 cm


Born in 1961 Stamford Lincolnshire. Living in Cornwall. Education 1980 - 1981 1981 - 1984 1985 – 1986

Foundation Art, Lincoln College of Art Fine Art Degree, Bretton Hall College / Leeds University Post Graduate Diploma, Art Therapy, Hertfordshire College of Art & Design

Selected Biography 1982 – 1984 1983 – 1984 1984 – 1985 1986 – 1989 1989 – 1993 1995 1999 2000

Stanley Royd Mental Health Hospital, Wakefield – assisting in Art Therapy department M.I.N.D. Barnsley - volunteer Brookside Young People’s Unit, Goodmayes Mental Health Hospital, Essex. - full time as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a psychodynamically run residential therapy unit. Ingledene, Church of England Children’s Society, Altrincham, Cheshire. - Full time Senior II Art Therapist /Residential Social Worker. Stockport Health Authority Community and residential learning disability/mental health teams - Full time Senior I Art Therapist. Full time Mum to two boys. Moved to Bude, Cornwall (area where grandparents/mother had lived). Started to paint again

Solo Exhibitions 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Somerville Gallery, Plymouth Inside Out, Goldfish, Penzance Letting Go, Goldfish, Penzance Still Waters, Goldfish, Penzance Brief Visitor, Goldfish, Penzance New Paintings, Beaux Arts, Bath Simple Truths, Goldfish, Penzance Sparrow, Beaux Arts, Bath The Meeting Place, Millennium, St. Ives

Selected Mixed Exhibitions 2002 – 2003 2003 - 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

South West Academy, Exeter Phoenix - Awarded Somerville Gallery painting prize Continued representation, Goldfish, Penzance London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington Work acquired for permanent exhibition at The Anthony Pettullo Outsider and Self Taught Art Collection, Milwaukee, USA Art Now Cornwall?, Goldfish, Penzance FORM Art Fair, Olympia London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington Summer Show, Beaux Arts, Bath Margins, Sherborne Open 07 - Awarded First Prize Winner Art London, Royal Hospital, Chelsea Move, Goldfish at Vyner Street, Lime Wharf, London London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington The Figure Show, Jill George Gallery, London Art London, Royal Hospital, Chelsea Mixed Winter Exhibition, Millennium, St. Ives London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington The Figure Show, Jill George Gallery, London Chichester Painting Prize (Shorlisted) Art London, Royal Hospital, Chelsea Mixed Winter Exhibition, Millennium, St. Ives London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington The House of Fairy Tales, Millennium, St. Ives

Selected Press Coverage / Features: The Guardian, The Observer, Cornwall Today, Devon Today, Inside Cornwall, Galleries, Cornishman, Western Morning News

Published by Millennium to coincide with the exhibition ‘The Meeting Place’ by Joy Wolfenden Brown All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers

Printed by St Austell Printing Company ( ISBN 978-1-905772-36-0

“Then there was one small chamber – a very small, carefully guarded place, deep inside. It was the most sacred, and they had a beautiful name for this: the Holy of Holies... and there was room there for only one person and God.”

John Orthberg

MILLENNIUM Str eet-an-Pol St. Ives Cornwall 01736 793121 m a i l @ m i l l e n n i u m g a l l e r y. c o . u k w w w . m i l l e n n i u m g a l l e r y. c o . u k

Joy Wolfenden Brown 'The Meeting Place'  

48 page publication of the exhibition 'The Meeting Place' by Joy Wolfenden Brown

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