Lydia Corbett’s paintings and ceramics, it is said, possess a dreamlike quality born of naivety. The term ‘naivety’ is used here, not to demean, but rather to stress a form that shuns the intellectual. She celebrates a childlike freedom of form, which casts off the yoke of our adult material existence. It allows the human form to bend impossibly like the stem of a flower, suggesting deep-rooted tangles of emotion.
Abandoning scale and perspective, her paintings interweave human subjects with animals, vegetables, minerals and even Provençal tablecloths, in blissful heavenly harmony.
‘Oils have become my preferred medium as my eyesight deteriorates. I am 86 in this strange year of 2020 and have macular degeneration, but my passion to paint is not dimmed. Rather, it has become bolder and more excited, discovering in oil a tactile and very different medium. I love to use black charcoal with its simplicity of line first on the white canvas, and then to add colours, either with palette knife, fingers or brush. I love the colours, they are so vibrant and magical.
I started my watercolour paintings in the 1980’s, simply using watercolour. I soon used pen and ink drawing, the subject nearly always starts with a tablecloth, which for me, is the landscape. My pen of Indian ink runs away like a river as I fill the page with flowers. Flowers talk to me without words; their beauty and freshness, the love in the silence has been for me, over the last 40 years, a wonder and an inspiration. These flowers are in one of my many vases that I collect or have made myself. I add watercolour in bright splashes and use the pen again, the ink mingling with the watercolour as I include my other subjects. These will usually be my family, my home in Devon,or in Provence, or any place or experience that inspires me. Finally my story in paint is complete.’
“Lydia Corbett likes to celebrate a childlike freedom of form which casts off the yoke of our adult material existence…”
My other passion is ceramics. I make coil pots, lady figures tree figures and all sorts. I use wax resist methods and graffito, iron oxide and azure glazes.