Fishermen's Friend Exhibition
In 2019 Laura was commissioned by the curators of Sidmouth Museum in Devon to produce an exhibition of paintings to complement the display planned for the centenary of the death of writer Stephen Reynolds. His best known work - A Poor Man's House - described his life with a poor family of fishermen in Sidmouth in the early 20th Century, thinly diguised as a work of fiction.
It was a challenge but a wonderful and interesting opportunity for Laura. It was a selling exhibition and extremely successful. This was a first for Sidmouth Museum, and the inspiration of curator Ann Tanner.
Stephen Reynolds rejected his middle class upbringing living as a lodger with the Woolley family, and also fishing with them. During the First World War he worked for the government, liaising between the fishermen and the state to make sure they could carry on their vital work keeping fish on the table despite all the difficulties. Fish was one food item that was never rationed. Bridge of Words (above) depicts this part of Stephen Reynold's life.
Inspired by the caricature of Stephen Reynolds this work is of Stephen and his dog Margot the Great Dane, as if they are a couple who have been photographed together in sepia.
He acquired the almost human-sized dog as his walking companion, perhaps to help relieve his loneliness. A fun portrait - they even have the same eyes!
Stephen & Margot
iPad art with Apple Pencil and Procreate app
In his book 'A Poor Man's House' Stephen Reynolds
describes his life with the Woolleys - a Sidmouth fishing family. At one point he describes the kitchen most fondly as a room at the very heart of their lives.
This painting is the artist's response to that description.
The Story of a Kitchen - acrylic on canvas
Our Fisherfolk - Gorn but not forgot - acrylic