Henrietta Dubrey (British B. 1966)
Henrietta Dubrey’s roots as a painter can be traced back to the time spent on long childhood holidays in St Ives drawing and painting with her architect father. Not only did these early experiences determine that Henrietta would become an artist but the art she grew up with – Constructivism and Lyrical Abstraction of the St Ives ‘School’ – was to have a strong influence on her own development.
Although Henrietta’s painting practice can be seen within the context of these histories, together with Pop Art and Minimalism, there is a depth of autobiographic and emotional response that transcends pure formalism. The construction of the paintings combine gestural brush strokes with monochromatic grounds, sometimes countered with larger blocks of colour. There is a feeling of exuberance in the completed works that, while remaining non-representational, echoes the environmental and atmospheric characteristics of west Cornwall. It is in her mark-making, use of apparent colour and feeling for space that Dubrey’s work stand out.
“The inspiration for my work is as diverse as the experiences of life itself. It is only upon completion of a piece of work that the inspiration becomes evident. The first and final stages of each painting often bear little relation to each other but they do interpenetrate. I never know or presume or predict the final outcome of a day’s work. It is spontaneous from the start to finish, this creates an edge to the work.”