figures gambol playfully on a distant seashore; colourful rabbits
hurtle along in delightful carrot-shaped racing cars; balloons soar
into a starry sky.
Parker's whimsical and inspired watercolours possess the capacity
to carry the viewer into another world, another time - 'Elsewhere',
as the exhibition's title would suggest - although they are grounded
in a painful reality.
first glance, Gretel's paintings would appear to be created for
children and she admits to having been inspired by such famous illustrators
as E. H. Shepherd, Arthur Rackham and Maurice Sendak.
outlook, however, has little in common with today's bright, technicolour,
jolly view of childhood.
creativity and the almost-Victorian melancholia within her work
spring in great part from a difficult and poverty-stricken background
and her loss at a young age of both parents.
such, her paintings are as likely to strike a chord with the older
viewer, conjuring up the lonelier and more baffling aspects of childhood,
memories of which remain with us even into our mature years.
surreal and moving artistic vision provided her with an escape route
from her troubled circumstances.
leaving school at 16, she obtained a degree in Graphic Design and
completed her subsequent Art Foundation course at Oxford Brookes
resident in Gloucestershire, she combines her painting with writing
and is currently developing an illustrated book project in addition
to looking forward to a forthcoming exhibition of her work at the
Henley Royal Regatta (July 2-6, Henley-on-Thames).
communicative and above all deeply talented artist, I have no doubt
that Gretel will continue to triumph over all odds in what will
certainly be a promising and successful painting career.
see Gretel's work simply click here
or send an email here.