Since taking over the Willy’s Bar venue in Gandy Street, The Paragon Gallery has become one of Exeter’s established galleries, filled with affordable works from local artists and run by owner Emma Bishop. Friday, May 14 saw the private view of Totnes-based painter Yvonne Coomber’s exhibition My Heart’s Garden, depicting abstract wild flower meadows in a glorious riot of colour.
Yvonne’s inspirational work is a joyful, light-filled pleasure to behold. Infused with a fairy-tale whimsy, her paintings stem in part from a childhood spent largely in magical Ireland, and are created in a studio cradled in the heart of Devon’s lush, green, flower-strewn hills, reflecting, in her own words: “A sacred space within ourselves and the land, The images I create embrace wildness, innocence, and a deep connection to the Earth.”
Speaking at the private view, Yvonne says: “This is my first major exhibition in Exeter, and Emma has done an incredible job. She’s really taken on the whole concept of my work, and worked wonderfully with the celebratory aspect of my paintings to create this wonderful night. She’s amazingly knowledgeable and supportive, and I really feel like tonight has been a success, I can see a lot of red dots.”
So could I. Described by Emma as one of the gallery’s most successful artists, whose paintings sell out almost as soon as she produces them, Yvonne’s bold and lyrical work was being snapped up before my eyes, with a haze of scarlet spots appearing like a rash.
Get down to the Paragon and see this beautiful exhibition, which runs until Saturday, May 29. Yvonne’s glittering celebration of nature is not to be missed.