Faces of Compton exhibition opens at Watts Gallery

The Old Pottery Gallery at Watts Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of paintings and Found Studies by local artist, Emma-Leone Palmer, called Faces of Compton. The exhibition runs from Saturday 6 September until 10 October and will feature captivating portraits of the local residents from the village of Compton.

The exhibition is a tribute to the diversity of characters found in this small Surrey village just outside of Guildford and helps to sustain the legacy established by Mary Watts (G F Watts’s second wife) to promote local contemporary practice and social enterprise. Much in the same way that the local villagers helped Mary Watts to build the Mortuary Chapel that sits alongside the gallery, Emma-Leone Palmer has again taken inspiration from the people of Compton to create her art.

Emma-Leone has known many of her subjects since childhood, giving her a unique perspective on their different personalities, saying, “Faces of Compton evolved from a single self-portrait one rainy day, to a year-and-a-half of dedicated painting, capturing the people around me in the village of Compton.”

She went on to state, “This is a tribute to the diversity of characters: a social history, if you like, and a sense of the pride and solidarity of this small Surrey community, from young Max, who shares pizza with us in the garden, to renowned potter Mary Wondrausch OBE. These days, when social media captures only fleeting moments of our lives, this body of work forms a tangible record, not unlike G F Watts’s Hall of Fame, of ordinary people living everyday lives, immortalising them through a medium normally reserved only for the elite: a Facebook in oils of English village lives.”

Image below shows portraits of Jon Catten and Mary Wondrausch (left to right) from the exhibition

Emma-Leone Palmer

Since graduating in Fine Art in 2005, Emma-Leone has painted and exhibited worldwide, taught and set up community art projects, classes and groups and is contracted in commercial design, illustration and model making. This will be her 27th exhibition and she accepts private commissions.

The exhibition is open daily from 10.30am to 5.15pm and entry is free. As well as oil paintings, there will also be a variety of mixed media pieces on found wood and metal available to view. All pieces will be for sale with prices starting from £250. If you would like to see any more of Emma-Leone Palmer’s work, please visit her website HERE.

Image at top shows portraits of Esme Liackman and Chris Lovell (left to right) from the exhibition