Lydia Corbett




My paintings and ceramics, it is said, possess a dreamlike quality born of naivety. The term naivety used to describe her stylistic sense in not to demean, but rather to stress a form that shuns the intellectual. I like to celebrate a childlike freedom of form which casts off the yoke of our adult material existance. It allows the human form to bend impossibly like the stem of a flower, suggesting deep rooted tangles of emotion. Abandoning scale and perpective, my paintings interweave human subjects with animals, vegetables, minerals and even Provencal tablecloths, in blissful earthly harmony. "The paintings begin with a 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. 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." I have also added oils to my repertoire, enjoying the challenge of this very different medium. Driftwood has also become a vehicle: beautiful sea-shaped wood will suggest a figure or an animal, a boat,a fish,an angel. These are decorated in egg tempera and joined together to creat a different story in paint. Another passion for me is pottery. I enjoy making ladies/lamps, pots, cats, and tiles. Always experimenting, I play with glazes and painting ready-made pots and plates.


14.11.1934Born, Paris
1946-50Grew up, Isle du Levant, Les Iles d'Hyres, Naturist community.
1945-59Ecole de Beauvallon, Drome, France. Primary Education.
1951-53Summerhill School, Suffolk, England. Secondary Education.
1954-55Vallauris,France. Modelling for Picasso, work experience.
1956-60Marriage to Tobias Jellinek.
1958-62Study of classical guitar.
1960-61Subject of film "Visage d'une Autre", Marie Claire Shaeffer
1963Birth of first child, Isabel
1964-70Artistic craftwork and collages sold at Liberty's, London
1970Marriage to R.Corbett
1972Birth of second child, Alice.
1975Birth of third child, Laurence
1986Exhibition, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, England
1978Started Painting. Dartington Hall, Devon, England
1985First Exhibition. Totnes, Devon, England
I was born in Paris on 14th Nov 1934 and was named Sylvette David. My father was an influential art dealer and painter, whose Champs Elysee gallery, David & Garnier, exhibits the now famous Bernard Buffet. My mother was an award-winning student at the academie Julian, Paris. Due to a highly unconventional childhood, I have always beenfree from the normal constraints of learnt art. As a young child my life was spent between Provence and a small island off the cote D'azure. My days passed in complete freedom, playing in the sea and admiring nature. The Alpine school of my early years, during the latter part of the war, was an open-minded art based primary that became a sactuary for many families fleeing the Nazi peril. When I was 16 my mother sent myself and my brother th Summerhill school in Suffolk. I returned to France with my fiance and in 1953 I met Picasso in the small, southern town of Vallauris. It was a wonderful experience which changed my life. In 3 months, Picasso painted about 40 paintings of 'Sylvette' (as I was then called). Having moved to Paris, I had my first child, Isabel, in 1963. My father encouraged me to paint, and although driven to creat, it wasn't until she was 45 and living at Dartington Hall with 3 children that I began to paint in earnest.

Exhibition History

4th July 09Opening.
10am blessing
11am- 4pm Viewing of new work and studio
1985First Exhibition, Totnes, Devon, UK
1986Theatre Royal, Plymouth, UK
1987InterArt Gallery, Cologne, Germany
Battle Gallery, Sussex, UK
Solo exhibition, Nicholas Bolby Gallery, Kent. UK
1989"Blue and White Still Lives" Francis Kyle Gallery, Mayfair, London
1989-2001Permanent Show, Francis Kyle Gallery, Mayfair, London, UK
1989-1995Bi-annual Solo exhibition, Francis Kyle Gallery, Mayfair, London. UK
1995Solo exhibition, Cider Press Centre, Devon, UK
Solo exhibition, Camaret sur Aigues, Provence, France.
1996-1998Annual Solo exhibition of painting, driftwood sculptures and ceramics, Francis Kyle Gallery, Mayfair, London, UK
1996-2000Permanent show, Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold, UK
1997-2000Mensing Art Galleries, Germany
1996-1999Annual shows, Coombe farm Gallery, Dittisham, Devon
2000Solo exhibition, Musee de Mougins, France
2000-2008Solo exhibition, 9 Days of Art, Devon, UK
2003-2008Annual exhibition, Delamore Arts, Devon, UK
2003Solo exhibition, Bookcase, Carlisle, UK
2004solo exhibition, Carlisle,UK
2004Solo exhibition, T'Art Gallery, Ripon, Yorkshire, UK
2004Solo exhibition and Lecture Tour, Ventana Gallery, San Antonio, USA
2004Solo exhibition, Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold, UK
2005Solo exhibition, Francis Kyle Gallery, Mayfair, London,UK
2006Bearn Weise Gallery, Germany
2008Meeting House Arts Centre Illminster - Girl with a pony tail
JOURNEYS - THEME SHOWS at Francis Kyle Gallery, London