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Philippa Cannan

Philippa Cannan

Philippa was born in Brighton, East Sussex in 1949 and has had careers in Law and psychotherapist.

These experiences and my interest in the deeper and more complex dimensions of existence connect in certain ways with my love of nature, the countryside and animals. The combination and presence of both the wild and the domestic, in life and nature. She studied Fine Art Painting at Brighton University and having retired from psychotherapy, decided to concentrate on her painting.

“I am fascinated by the physicality of paint – it’s movement and unpredictability. I work in thin, layered, oil washes, allowing the paint to move fairly freely on the canvas, building up the layers and hoping to evoke a sense of energy, movement – or stillness. These elements are important in my work and I aim to reflect them through the slightly ethereal or dreamlike animal figures and images, for each painting to embody a sense of timelessness and its own reality. I work from my own quick oil on paper studies, photographic reference and sketches taken from life.”

Animals perhaps symbolise many of life’s deeper energies and instincts and through my work, the momentary glimpse or image of a horse and rider, a deer, a fox or a wolf standing motionless, the movement of a dog or a bird in flight are taken (through the process of painting) into a space of reverie or daydream. Her paintings are not portraits of animals, but slightly abstracted figurative images aiming to express a sense of their essence and innate energy. People have often said that they remind them of cave paintings.