Page 1


Introduction The girl looks up at the tree, to the bird that sits amongst its branches. Although they occupy the same world they seem separated by space and species. But then the bird sings, and a vibration starting within its chest and passing along invisible sound waves across the gap, pierces the girl to set off a corresponding v i b r a t i o n w i t h i n h e r o w n b o d y. A c o n n e c t i o n i s m a d e , the gap is bridged, and in a moment of wonder the girl experiences a sense of reverie; a feeling of at-oneness w i t h t h e w h o l e w o r l d a s i t s s o l i d b o u n d a r i e s f a l l a w a y. A b a n d o f v i v i d o r a n g e l i g h t o p e n s u p b e f o r e h e r, piercing the fabric of a monochrome reality and offering a g l i m p s e t h r o u g h t o s o m e t h i n g o t h e r. I t u n i t e s b o t h g i r l a n d b i r d , b a t h i n g t h e m i n t h e w a r m t h o f i t s g o l d e n g l o w, a l i g h t t h a t i s b o t h n a t u r a l a n d s u p e r- n a t u r a l . I t i s t h e s e m o m e n t s o f r e v e r i e a n d w o n d e r, w h e n w e are confronted by small incidents of beauty within the world, an unexpected bird, the play of light through b r a n c h e s , o r t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n o n w a t e r, w h i c h f o r m t h e f o c u s o f L i s a Wr i g h t ’ s p a i n t i n g s a n d d r a w i n g s . T h r o u g h vibrant blocks of colour and the deft calligraphy of her dancing lines she draws these fleeting insubstantial sensations into the visible world, clothing them in human form even though they bring about the dissolution of its solid borders. In these moments the world opens up into an interconnected space, and we experience the knowledge that our body ’s boundaries are porous membranes that allow for the constant flow and exchange of particles of matter and light. But how can this borderless body be represented? Wr i g h t ’ s f i g u r e s s e e m t o o f f e r t h e o p p o s i t e s t a t e o f b e i n g , figures bounded by thick outlines that seem to keep the world out. But these outlines are too thick and too bold. Rather than defining the edge of the body they seem to obliterate it, erasing it with an indeterminate space that suggests the liminal, porous threshold







atomic density of the body and the more widely spaced structure of the air that enfolds us. Her paintings capture the experience of living in this liquid world. Her figures rarely have mouths, for as t h e s o l i d w o r l d f a l l s a w a y, w o r d s , w h i c h s o o f t e n d i v i d e a n d s e p a r a t e , f a i l . We a r e l e f t c h i l d l i k e , s e e i n g t h e world afresh rather than with the world weary eyes of adulthood. And like the newborn infanct, our senses are heightened as we revel in this world without boundaries. Colours become more vivid, forms m o r e d y n a m i c , s o u n d s s h a r p e r, a n d t h e s m a l l e s t t h i n g becomes a moment of revelation and amazement. E a c h o f t h e s e w o r k s i s a d i s t i n c t e n t i t y, a n o b j e c t complete in its own right. But just as their subject matter is the breaking down of the world’s boundaries, so each individual painting and drawing forms part of an interconnected whole; revealing, celebrating, and investigating a different aspect of this experience to c r e a t e a s t o r y b o a r d o f w o n d e r. T h e y g i v e v i s u a l f o r m t o those moments when we seem to melt into the world, completely absorbed into its liquid embrace; the times when our senses are heightened and we seem to see with our whole bodies, and the occasions of intimacy when we sit with the one we love, wordless and in complete oneness. These paintings and drawings do not merely illustrate these experiences. Instead they allow these usually subjective interior sensations, which have been provoked by intangible realitites to be dragged into the visibility and substance of this world, there to be r e c o g n i z e d a n d s h a r e d . Fo r l i k e t h e s o n g o f t h e b i r d , Wr i g h t ’ s c o l o u r s c r o s s t h e s p a c e t h a t d i v i d e s o n w a v e s of invisible light, piercing the solidity of our own being to set up a sympathetic vibration in us as they give v i s u a l f o r m t o o u r o w n m o m e n t s o f r e v e r i e a n d w o n d e r.

R i c h a r d D a v e y. 2 0 1 1



Study for Green Blossom Girl

mixed media on paper

mixed media on paper

27 x 19 cm

27 x 19 cm

Study for Perfect Silence

Camelia Girl

mixed media on paper

mixed media on paper

27 x 19 cm

27 x 19 cm 5


Study for Bird Girl

Dissolving Silence

mixed media on paper

mixed media on paper

27 x 19 cm

27 x 19 cm

Luminous Blue

Green Glow Girl

mixed media on paper

mixed media on paper

27 x 19 cm

27 x 19 cm 7

Graceful Wader charcoal on paper 152 x 122 cm




Silent Sirens charcoal on paper 152 x 122 cm


Reflected Green Blossom Girl oil on canvas 80 x 40 cm 12

Reflected Sunset Girl oil on canvas 80 x 40 cm 13

Lost in Thought oil on canvas 130 x 60 cm 14

First Kiss oil on canvas 130 x 60 cm 15

Tell No One oil on canvas 122 x 92 cm



Reflected Twins oil on canvas 30 x 30 cm 18

Green Pool of Light oil on canvas 30 x 30 cm 19


Sunset Boy 1 oil on canvas 120 x 120 cm


Luminous Blossom Boy oil on canvas 50 x 40 cm 22

Green Sky Wader oil on canvas 50 x 40 cm 23

Lemon Lake oil on canvas 150 x 120 cm



Luminous Mist oil on canvas 50 x 50 cm 26

Beautiful Tomorrow oil on canvas 50 x 50 cm 27

Walking Through Beautiful oil on canvas 152 x 91 cm




Holding Bird Song

Blue Tree Boy

oil on canvas

oil on canvas

31 x 26 cm

31 x 26 cm

Melting Shadows

Transparent Grasses

mixed media on paper

oil on canvas

31 x 26 cm

36 x 28 cm 31


Her Moment of Wonder

Little Wonder

oil on canvas

oil on canvas

150 x 120 cm

60 x 30 cm 33

Red Rain Horizon oil on canvas 130 x 120 cm




Bird Boy oil on canvas 140 x 122 cm


Bird Girl oil on canvas 204 x 150 cm




Awards and Prizes

1965 Born, Kent 1990 - 93 Studied at Royal Academy Schools, London (Post Graduate - Painting) 1984 - 87 Maidstone College of Art (First Class BA Hons) 1997 Elected member of Newlyn Society of Artists


Currently living in Cornwall and lecturing part-time at University College Falmouth

Solo Exhibitions 2011 2010 2008

Walking Through Beautiful, Millennium Into the Light, Beardsmore Gallery, London The Histories, (Paintings produced during two year residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company) The Round House and Beardsmore Gallery, London The Royal Academy Café Gallery, London 2007 Twilight Paintings, Beardsmore Gallery, London 2006 Night Paintings, Lemon Street Gallery, Cornwall 2005 Beach Paintings, Beardsmore Gallery, London 2003 Pool Paintings, Beardsmore Gallery, London Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall 2001 Beardsmore Gallery, London 1999 Beardsmore Gallery, London 1996 Thornton/Bevan Arts, London 1995 Sadlers Wells Gallery, London Raw Gallery, London 1994 The Royal Overseas League, London 1993 Reflection of Two, Greenwich Theatre Art Gallery, London

2008 2005 2003 2000 1996 1994 1993 1992

The National Open Art Competition, First prize The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Runner-up prize The National Open Art Competition, Second prize 25th Anniversary Most Popular Painting Prize at Hunting Art Prizes Shortlisted for the Sovereign European Art Prize Hunting Art Prizes, First prize Arts Council of England Award Hunting Art Prizes, Regional Award One of four artists shortlisted for The Villiers David Award (Fine Art) Young Artist Award, Marks & Spencer (NEAC) The Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award The Royal Overseas League Travel Scholarship WH Patterson Fine Arts Award (RA Schools) The George Isted Prize (RA schools) The Royal Academy Premiums Painting Prize

Collections Guiness Unilever BUPA Zeneca The Royal Shakespeare Company Private collections worldwide.

Selected Mixed Exhibitions

Publications and Reviews

1991 - 11 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 2011 Print, The Exchange, Penzance, Cornwall Mixed Winter Exhibition, Millennium 2010 30th Anniversary Exhbition, Beaux Art, Bath Reality Check, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall The Lynn Painter - Stainers Prize, London 2009 The National Open Art Competition, Pallant House, (1st Prize) The Threadneedle Art prize, London The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, London (Prize winner) Cornish Perspective, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 2008 National Open Art Competition, Chichester & London (2nd Prize) Crossing Over, Beaux Art, Bath The Threadneedle Art Prize, London 2007 Art Now Cornwall, Tate St. Ives, Cornwall 2006 The Sovereign European Art prize, London To the Edge, Beardsmore Gallery, London NSA Exhibition, Goldfish, Penzance, Cornwall 2005 NSA Critic’s Choice (Norbert Lynton), Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall 25th Anniversary Hunting Art Prizes, London (Prize winner) 2004 Invited artist, Hunting Art Prizes, London 2003 Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London (First prize) NSA Critic’s Choice (Joan Bakewell), Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall 2002 The Space Between (2 person with Mark Surridge), Merriscourt Gallery Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Art, London Ten, Beardsmore Gallery, London From the Heart, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall 2001 Lemon Street Gallery ( 2 person with Mary Mabutt), Cornwall 2000 Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London (prizewinner) Cheltenham Open Drawing, Cheltenham, Humberside, Switzerland Merriscourt Gallery ( 4 person exhibition), Oxfordshire

2011 Walking Through Beautiful, Richard Davey, Millennium Interview film, Alban Roinard & Joseph Clarke, Millennium 2010 Into the Light, Bruce Russell, Beardsmore Gallery 2009 The London Magazine, Naomi Woodis (Aug/Sept) 2008 The Histories, Michael Bird, Beardsmore Gallery 2007 Twilight Paintings, Anna Moszynska, Beardsmore Gallery Art Now Cornwall, Susan Daniel-McElroy Tate Publications St. Ives 1975-2005: Art Colony in Transition, Peter Davies 2006 The Inaugural Sovereign Art Prize The Hunting Art Prizes, 25 years of First Prize Winners, William Packer Night Paintings, Virginia Button, LSG Gallery 2005 Beach Paintings, William Packer, Beardsmore Gallery, London 2003 Pool Paintings, Pip Palmer, Beardsmore Gallery Galleries Magazine, February issue, review by Pip Palmer Nicholas Usherwood, Review, Lemon Street Gallery 2002 The Space Between, Merriscourt Gallery Catching The Wave, Tom Cross 2001 Exhibition Catalogue, Beardsmore Gallery Newlyn Society of Artists members’ book, NSA publication 1999 Catalogue, Michael Farr, Beardsmore Gallery 1997 Catalogue, BUPA Arts Collection, curated by CAS 1996 Royal Overseas League Catalogue 1994 Working on a Large Scale, The Artist (October) Contributor, Drawing the Nude, Diana Constance, Apple Press Royal Overseas League Catalogue 1993 Preview, RA Magazine Working with Traditional Drawing Media, The Artist Magazine (January) Royal Overseas League Catalogue 1992 Working with Oils, The Artist magazine (June)

Published by Millennium to coincide with the exhibition ‘Walking Through Beautiful’ by Lisa Wright 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 Active Colour ( ISBN 978-1-905772-46-9

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

Lisa Wright 'Walking Through Beautiful'  

40 Page catalogue of the exhibition 'Walking Through Beautiful' by Lisa Wright held at Millennium, St. Ives