Old Friends: New Exhibition from Gemma Corvalan

August 11, 2017

On a rainy Wednesday in Cambridge we have had a fortunate visit from Peter and Linda, the lovely owners of Montpellier Gallery in Stratford-upon-Avon http://www.montpelliergallery.com/ who commented on the new exhibition of Gemma Corvalan’s work in our upstairs gallery so we thought we would blog about it!

In the space where we had reflective, thoughtful interior paintings by Cambridge artist Clio Lloyd-Jacob https://lloyd-jacob.com/ in July -which was featured in the Independent Cambridge Newsletter.- we have now changed it to the dramatic, colourful figurative paintings by another local Cambridge based artist Gemma Corvalan.

Gemma Corvalan Exhibition

Gemma’s pen and watercolour originals have intriguing depth as she is reflecting on the deeper emotions rather than depicting the outward projection representation of life. This way of painting has resonated from the physical pain which Gemma is in everyday from the chronic illness she suffers from.

Gemma was diagnosed with ME at a young age and at the initial stages she felt like she had lost her art career as she was unable even to hold a paint brush. Art had always been a part of her life from growing up in the art world to higher education and her career so to have stopped with her diagnosis was terrible.

An original painting by Gemma Corvalan


 Nevertheless she kept strong and tried watercolour; a medium she was not familiar with. Through watercolours and other liquid based mediums Gemma was once again able to paint; an integral part of her life. The style manifested naturally with what she was physically capable of doing. And just like in life, she had to learn to be comfortable with having a lack of control, and so embrace the watercolours natural unpredictable application. She says “I found myself completely drawn to this beautiful watery substance.”


A detail from an original painting by Gemma CorvalanArt has guided Gemma and today she feels it is the only tool in which she can express the thoughts and feeling that she simply cannot describe or recognise otherwise. She enjoys the way watercolours move and creep over her works, creating overlapping, intricate patterns perfect for her to highlight and as she states “celebrate its natural imperfections as I learnt to celebrate my own.” Art is like an old friend for her, helping her through a process of self-acceptance and discovery.

This is the reason why I personally am fascinated and love art because I like the countless ways different people have their various stories and depict their representation of the world through art. I invite you all to see this stunning vibrant heart-warming artwork and to catch a glimpse into Gemma’s chronic world.

To browse work by Gemma that is held by Primavera, visit the Online Shop.





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