new work


my exhibition at winterbourne show cases eight new abstracts and i will be talking about them this thursday during the lunchtime lecture. i’ll also be showing behind the scenes photographs taken during the making of our film, remembrance of things passed, and talking about the making of the portraits which are a new addition to the walls of winterbourne house. previously unseen photographs of winterbourne house & garden taken in the snow last january will also be seen when three feet of snow fell whilst the house was closed; a magical landscape. i have put together 100 odd images to show and just need to find now a memory stick with enough memory to store the material so i can bring it over on thursday. there was  mention of the exhibition in saturday’s birmingham mail. hope to see you there! birmingham mail article


valerie nettlefold


today i have been deciphering the handwriting of all the souls who visited my studio at winterbourne last year and kindly left their email to be reminded of the exhibition. it wasn’t easy; did they mean to write the whole thing in capitals, is that a hyphen or an underscore etc etc. still, i am hoping that those get through will then be forwarded to their friends so ensuring the power of the online jungle drums. we had a load of logs delivered yesterday and i helped paul with the last couple of barrow loads before they get rained upon; the wood store now looks like they do in a magazine and a cosy log fire every evening is a real joy and jut about makes january and february bearable. i suppose they had coal fires at winterbourne at the turn of the century. the winterbourne portrait trail is now up and running and valerie here is upstairs on a corridor; she does look rather aloof, perhaps even a little startled.

ken Nettlefold


Well, today is the first day of my exhibition and it has rained and rained and rained. If we still lived in London we would have spent the day wondering around the V & A and the dog would have crossed his legs. I really like the new boy’s bedroom they have created at Winterbourne with its male atmosphere and masculine furnishings. This portrait study of Ken hangs very well in there an it is uncanny how the colours work so well together as it hadn’t been created when I painted this. Strange to think this room was my original studio exactly one year ago until I moved to the hay Loft studio in June. You can just about make out the use of varnish in an Edwardian tulip motif across his face. I like the look of youthful apprehension in his face. We were all there once.

beatrice nettlefold


tonight is the eve of my exhibition opening; fingers and toes crossed a few people pop by tomorrow to see a year’s painting finally in situ! there’s lots to see; eight portraits, eight semi abstract large scale paintings, three small oils and one short film. Plus a great cafe for a coffee at half time. Yes, I have surprised myself, yes, I have found a new language, and yes, I believe it is worth a train ticket to see. On for ten weeks until april 9th let me know what you think if you’re in the university of birmingham neighbourhood.

lois nettlefold


quite a few people have a soft spot for young lois because of her enormous hat and serious expression. i suspect this portrait study will go in the boy’s room at winterbourne next to the portrait study of ken which i will be uploading in the next few days. in my studio in worcester i am just putting the finishing touches to some of the larger semi abstract paintings; it is hard to believe that this time next week they will be all hung at winterbourne. can’t wait to see them in the freshly painted contemporary coach house gallery at winterbourne so that i can stand right back and get a take on them all; plus seeing the portraits dotted around the house will put them in a very different sort of context. i have a lot to do before then however!

Remembrance of Things Passed

A collaboration between Indian filmmaker, Parul Punjabi and British artist, Sara Hayward, the film recreates the life of an Edwardian English family and the several secrets they held- relying heavily on the dreams and memories of the various characters, instead of a linear, narrative description of their lives. Set in the idyllic, quintessentially English Winterbourne House and Gardens and structured loosely as a meditative, mood-poem, the film seeks to capture both the exterior visible reality and the inner subtle reality of its characters.

Building on Proust’s famous quote, ‘Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were’, the filmmakers pay homage to the very idea of memory as they collectively remember the everyday life in the early 20th century. With no dialogue, the natural sounds and dreamlike imagery become crucial in evoking this memory of a bygone era.

winterbourne revisited

winterbourne revisited

john nettlefold (1866-1930)

this painting of john nettlefold sought to capture his steely determination as he not only had built the first house in birmingham to have electricity (winterbourne in 1903) but also went onto forge through dynamic house planning which would change the lives of many for the better. sadly he himself went on to suffer ill health thereafter which must have been a tremendous worry for his close family.

my exhibition winterbourne revisited opens on 01 february and as you can imagine i am putting the final finishing touches to and framing the 18 paintings which will feature in the exhibition. to wet your appetite here is one portrait study of john nettlefold which will hang in the main house, and  hopefully in his study in a few weeks time. my stomach is turning as i anticipate the public’s reaction to my ten month residency. inspired by such an old and by now dear friend such as winterbourne has been amazing; thank you winterbourne for having me.