Leon Bunnewell - Summer exhibition

Colour in motion
The paintings of local artist Leon Bunnewell at the
Summer Exhibition of The Gallery Norfolk, Cromer
3-31 August 2013

In August, The Gallery Norfolk celebrates its first year – and affirms its reputation for vibrancy and colour – with an exhibition of paintings by the Norwich based painter Leon Bunnewell.

Exuding atmosphere and energy, Bunnewell’s landcapes, seascapes and townscapes have attracted a great deal of attention from visitors to The Gallery Norfolk since it opened in Summer 2012. 

“People love the passion they feel in Leon’s pictures,” says the gallery’s owner, Polly Miller, “They evoke strong emotions. His paintings of Cromer and the beaches here have understandably proved very popular here, but earlier this year he showed me more of his work depicting other towns, like East and West Runton and Sheringham – and as for his landscapes ... they really blew me away! He is a master at capturing a sense of movement – whether it be in the waves of the sea or in a scene on a beach or in a street ... But he also manages to instil an apparently serene landscape with his trademark intensity and dynamism. The effect can be quite mesmerising, and that motivated me to create an exhibition that does justice to the full range of his work.”

Leon Bunnewell works primarily with oils, although he is also experienced with acrylics, watercolours and pastels and has produced many pencil drawings. Largely self-taught – as he says “painting for love” – he nearly always works outdoors, “on the spot, throughout the year and in all weathers.  I paint quite quickly, in a single session, working loosely and often vigorously and aiming for spontaneity and freshness. My wish is to create a painting with character, personality and feeling; evoking how the subject behaves and feels – and the sensations it creates in me – rather than just capturing how it looks.”

His favourite artists include the American Edward Hopper, the British painters Frank Auerbach, L.S. Lowry, David Hockney, and representatives of the Impressionist and Expressionist schools.

“Increasingly, I’m happy to paint any subject, however difficult it may appear, as long as it appeals to me,” he adds. “I’m also experimenting with different techniques, hoping to reach some as yet unknown goal ...” 

This is The Gallery Norfolk’s second seasonal exhibition, following a highly successful spring show, ‘New Views on Norfolk’, featuring the work of seven artists with special connections to the county. The Summer Exhibition also marks the gallery’s first anniversary.

Oil on board
Oil on board