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Henrietta Dubrey a True Devotee of Sir Terry Frost!

23 April 2017 - By Lynne Strover

For my joint show with Sam Hall at the Lynne Strover Gallery, I am presenting a small body of work comprising both figurative and abstract paintings.

The overall palette of these paintings is subdued, consisting mainly of earth colours and sky blues with the occasional accent of a verdant green and a bright red.

There is a self portrait, albeit a rather flattering younger version with newly cropped hair, the colours inspired straight from a S/S17 Givenchy ad campai

The much smaller figure painting The Yellow Dress tells the story of a girl inspired from the title of a David Gilmour song, ‘The Girl in the Yellow Dress’…

She mesmerizes with a smile

Dark eyes as compelling as the bourbon

That girl in the canary yellow dress

Says yes…

The girl in the song is sad, but she weaves a dance in her dress beguiling the men around her. My girl is a quieter character, perhaps wishing she was more extrovert. ‘Blue Siesta’ and ‘Messenger’ couldn’t be more opposite. The languorous reclining woman is abandoned to the pleasures of an afternoon escape under a warm sun. By contrast ‘Messenger’ appears almost like a guardian angel, proclaiming her presence, bold in her stature and approachThe three larger abstract works provide a subtle backdrop for the smaller, more intense paintings to nestle within. The rather formalised composition of ‘Vocabulary’ suggests a shorthand for various domestic and more industrial objects. They could be saucepans and pots, utensils and vessels all jostling for space and balance in what could be interpreted as a moveable feast floating on their pale ground. It feels like an interior painting, whereas ‘Breath’ and ‘Wild is the Wind’ (another homage to two great song writers, David Bowie/Nina Simone) are open, airy abstracted landscapes, typical of the wild, atmospheric weather conditions experienced here in West Penwith at the very tip of Cornwall. The greys, pale blues and blacks describe the very essence of the place.

‘Plen’, ‘Maquette’ and ‘Part’ are more like sketches for larger works. They explore the language and vocabulary that I utilise in creating a picture. The varying thickness of a black line, its boldness or fineness describing a subtle innuendo, form stories of their own to be learned from and repeatedly reinvented. The lines and shapes describe thoughts, walks, places, sometimes feelings and build together to form an overall picture. The subject matter will often reveal itself as autobiographical.




Chalky Down  is an ethereal abstract which takes me back to my roots growing up at the foot of the South Downs. Many an hour was spent walking and exploring the chalky bostals and revelling in the vast open spaces at the summit of the rolling hills, looking in one direction over the Weald and in the other towards the grey-brown English Channel.







To conclude my Cambridge excursion a small but easily recognisable Dubrey abstract featuring my favourite red, black and white combination. Forever a true devotee of Terry Frost these colours are always on my palette. ‘Where is the red in Cornwall?’ I recall this question being asked of Sir Terry, to which he answered with his customary smile.

I say, open your eyes and you will constantly be surprised at what you might see.


Henrietta Dubrey 2017

Henrietta Dubrey | Sam Hall | Cornish Connections | May 14- June 3, Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm

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