John Mcewen comments on Centaurea Cyanas
ENDELLION LYCETT GREEN is the younger daughter of Rupert Lycett Green—among other achievements an inspiration for Jilly Cooper’s romantic hero Rupert Campbell-black—and the late writer Candida Lycett Green, daughter of Sir John Betjeman. She’s named after a Cornish saint.
‘My mother and my maternal grandmother were integral to my love of Nature. I spent the best part of my childhood outside and they taught me the names of wild flowers and garden plants,’ she explains. ‘We were lucky to move from London to a beautiful house in Wiltshire and I live a few miles from there even now. I grew up surrounded by art, but Lucian Freud is perhaps the reason I became an artist. As a teenager, I was mesmerised by his portrayal of plants. Along with Stanley Spencer they were the first influences.
Her later influences would be Paolo Uccello, Gauguin, Chardin and, now, Peter Doig, George Shaw and Gerhard Richter. She was reading Fine Art and English at Exeter, but spending most of her time doing art, when she decided to become a painter at 19. ‘I’d stayed up all night to finish a painting. I had a reverence for paint and I still have.
‘Centaurea Cyanus was inspired by an abundance of cornflowers in a friend’s garden. I went on a long journey with them due to their intricate nature. They are rich in symbolism. Myth relates how the flowers heal eyes when placed on them. Also celestial blue is my favourite colour.’
She will be exhibiting her work at ‘The Source’ in Aldbourne, Wiltshire from June 3–17 (07973 123211; www.lauralopes.co.uk).