by Lousie Courtnell
Originally from Plymouth, Louise Courtnell is a full-time figurative painter, living and working at Whitsand Bay, South-East Cornwall. In 2003 she began Project Lydos, a series of 50 oil paintings of two generations of local people from the nearby twin fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, all born between 1910 and 1944.
Courtnell wanted to make a visual record of this close-knit community, and will be including a childhood photograph, a brief personal history and memories of village life during the War years. The paintings were done from life with each sitter committing to an average of 20 hours of modelling. Sadly 13 have passed away since the onset of the project. The title Lydos derives from the name of the boat of one of the sitters and is an acronym for Lower Your Drawers Or Swim!
Courtnell has shown regularly at the National Portrait Gallery in London and was commissioned to paint Dr Rowan Williams as the Archbishop in Wales in 2002. She is delighted to have the opportunity to show at Seale-Hayne and will be dedicating the exhibition to her teacher and mentor Robert Lenkiewicz.