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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

David Lendrum: A Journey Through Colours and Forms

In the picturesque landscapes of Norfolk, UK, where the open skies dance with ever-changing hues and the seasons unfold their vibrant tales, resides David Lendrum, an abstract painter with over five decades of artistic exploration. Born in 1948 in Bedfordshire, England, Lendrum's life has been an odyssey marked by a profound love for art.

Space Journey, 2018
Space Journey, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 199 cm

Lendrum's artistic venture began at Newcastle upon Tyne University, earning him a B.A. with First Class Honors. His academic journey culminated at St. Martins School of Art, where he pursued an Advanced Course from 1971 to 1973. The foundation laid during these formative years was fortified by his experiences at Felsted School, Essex, from 1962 to 1967.

His artistic pilgrimage took him to different countries, leaving an indelible mark on his creative identity. In 1984, he attended the Triangle Workshop USA for aspiring international artists, founded by the famous British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. In that year, artists from the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, South Africa and West Germany were taking part. The renowned art critic, Clement Greenberg, visited and offered invaluable advice to the artists.

In the same year, he exchanged his studio in London with the painter, Jürgen Meyer in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in 1987, he was invited to use the studio of the sculptor Jörg Bussmann, in Bremen.

Storm Clouds, 2024
Storm Clouds, 2024, Acrylic on canvas, 83 x 174 cm

In 1988, he worked as a guest artist at Schleswig-Holsteinisches Künstlerhaus Selk in Germany, a pivotal experience that influenced his artistic language, further enriching his artistic palette.

From 1971 to 2013, Lendrum lived in London, and since 2013, he has called Norfolk home, drawing inspiration from his new surroundings near the coast and its ever-shifting panoramas. His move marked a new chapter in his artistic journey, a period of exploration fuelled by the wild coastal landscapes, vast skies and the dance of light and colour.

Lendrum's artistic repertoire extends beyond the canvas into the realm of memberships and exhibitions. A member of the West Norfolk Artists Association since 2018 and Artfolk of Norfolk since 2021, his works have graced numerous exhibitions, earning recognition and accolades.

Images Above: Left: Summer Garden 1, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 97 x 47 cm Right: Summer Garden 2, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 102 x 46 cm

The year 2021 was a notable chapter in Lendrum's exhibition history, featuring prominently in events like Norfolk Open Studios, West Norfolk Artists Association Summer Exhibition, and the Artfolk of Norfolk exhibition. His painting 'Summer Garden 1' earned the prestigious Curators' Choice for Best Work in the Exhibition at the Autumn Exhibition held at Fermoy Gallery, King's Lynn. In 2022, he was selected for the exhibition Hidden UK - Hidden Ireland, curated by the internationally eminent painter and sculptor, Sean Scully, at Flowers Gallery, London.

Venturing into the virtual realm, Lendrum embraced online exhibitions, showcasing his work in the West Norfolk Artists’ Autumn Exhibition in November 2020 and the Association's Spring Exhibition in April 2021.

Cloudscape 5 Sunset, 2021
Cloudscape 5 Sunset, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 114 x 196 cm

However, the heart of Lendrum's artistic expression lies in his studio, a sanctuary where experimentation and intuition coalesce. His large and medium-sized canvases become a playground for loaded brushes, creating marks charged with energy and velocity. The process involves a dynamic interplay between large dry and dragged warm and cool hues, creating waves of colour that transcend the canvas's boundaries.

Lendrum's artistic odyssey is not confined to the physicality of his studio but extends into the introspective realms. His works, akin to the late paintings of Claude Monet and Willem de Kooning as well as Patrick Heron's early works, reflect an inward assessment, a departure from the literal representations of nature to a celebration of the emotional resonance of his creations.

Whirlwind, 2016
Whirlwind, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 175 x 145 cm

As a seasoned lecturer in Visual Studies at Southwark College from 1984 to 2010, Lendrum has not only contributed to the art community through his paintings but also nurtured budding artists, embodying the spirit of artistic continuity.

Since his late fifties, Lendrum has embraced the spontaneity and dispossession of a doctrinaire approach. His paintings, a reflection of his personality, oscillate between energy and tranquillity, a testament to a life lived for art. With every stroke, smudge, and scattering of lacunae, he inches closer to the essence inherent in the works of abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock.

David Lendrum's journey is not a static portrait but a vibrant, evolving masterpiece, echoing the boundless potential of abstract art. His canvases are windows into a world where light and colour converge in a dance that transcends the boundaries of the frame. As he continues to throw away crutches and embrace new possibilities, Lendrum's legacy becomes a bridge between tradition and experimentation, a journey that invites us to explore the limitless possibilities of the artistic spirit.

Rain, 2021
Rain, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 122 x 101.5 cm