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Daphne du Maurier

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Daphne du Maurier inspired artwork by Helen Williams to be exhibited at Fowey Festival

During the Fowey Art Trail, which runs alongside the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature, talented local artist Helen Williams will be exhibiting her original artwork inspired by the work of Daphne du Maurier. Helen painted the wonderful front cover for the 2018 Festival programme which features du Maurier's short story 'The Birds' in front of the du Mauriers' first home in Fowey, Ferryside.


Helen first read Daphne du Maurier when she was in her twenties and she has loved her books ever since. Helen says, Ďthe first one I read was Frenchman's Creek, and I think this has remained my favourite. I liked the setting for the book- the river estuary, the woods, the coast- which was described so clearly you felt you were there. I also like the historical element to this and other books and the tom-boyish female character which I definitely identified with.í This is Helenís painting inspired by Frenchmanís Creek:

Helen also identifies with du Maurierís love for Cornwall: ĎAs a child we spent summers at my grandparentsí cottage near Morwenstow on the North coast. They were always the happiest times, and led to a lifelong love of Cornwall. Now that I am living in Fowey I have re-read many of the books, most recently Jamaica Inn, The House on the Strand and The King's General and have enjoyed them even more now that I have been to many of the places used as settings.í

Helen originally studied Biology at York University and then she worked as a teacher for many years before becoming an artist and graduating with a first class degree in Fine Art from Nottingham University, where she was later an artist in residence. Until recently Helenís work has been three-dimensional- installations, sculpture, and assemblage- but this work, in common with her du Maurier paintings, has often had a narrative element. Her first painting inspired by du Maurier was the commission for the cover of the Fowey Festival programme, which Helen enjoyed painting so much that she decided to produce a series of paintings based on du Maurier which combined local settings with objects to help to tell the story of the books.

You can see more of Helenís work on her facebook page, where she has shared photographs of her  paintings based on Frenchmanís Creek, The Loving Spirit, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, and The Birds

The five paintings, and other new work by Helen, will be exhibited at venue 8 on the Fowey Art Trail - just at the bottom of Brown's Hill behind the church in Fowey. The venue will be open 11:00- 5:00 every day, 12th - 19th May 2018. Do go along and visit Helen and see these wonderful images inspired by Daphne du Maurier.

You can download a map of the Fowey Art Trail from the Festival website here. Thank you to Helen for talking to us about her work and her interest in du Maurier. We are delighted to see that so many artists and writers continue to be inspired by the works of Daphne du Maurier.




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