What's On

Facing Forward (online)


Parndon Mill Gallery, Parndon Mill, Harlow, Essex CM20 2HP

01279 426042

This is an exhibition of portraits by artists who each have a very different approach. Portraits painted by Lorna Brown, Martyn Burdon, Corrina Dunlea, John Farningham, Caroline Lumb and John Sellings, with sculptures by Christy Symington. 

This exhibition, FACING FORWARD is the first to be presented in our Online Gallery. It was originally mounted in The Gallery at Parndon Mill last February but after less than two very successful weeks it had to close for lockdown. It is now available again, presenting portraits by artists each having a very different approach. Paintings, drawings and prints include self portraits and full length depictions of more than one person, even nudes. These are complemented by sculptures of people in our history, touching on history in Harlow. This is an interesting exhibition and a delight to view. All the portraits are for sale and most of the artists are willing to accept commissions.

Lorna Brown is best known for her landscapes which she exhibited in our first exhibition in The Gallery last year. Her portraits are very personal. She is intrigued by the combined role of 'artist-as-reflection-as-model', and the principle that we don't see ourselves as others do.

More gentle, figurative and naturalistic works are by Martyn Burden. At first glance they could almost be mistaken for photographs. Corrina Dunlea’s, by contrast are colourful, capturing the energy and humanity of the sitter.

Jon Farningham’s portraits were the original inspiration for this exhibition. They are unusual, some full length, capturing not only outward appearances but something that is suggestive of the character underneath.

Caroline Lumb enjoys a number of different mediums drawing from a model, homing her observation skills and concentrating on detail. Some of her portraits, though, are fairly abstract!

It is a pleasure to see paintings by John Sellings here again. He had a studio in the mill for many years. He is interested in people, clothed or not. Attempting to be as faithful as necessary to what he sees leads inevitably to a likeness or a portrait.

The paintings are complemented by sculptures by Christy Symington. Her work highlights historically significant legacies, making portraits of people hidden in our history. Last January her sculpture of Equiano was a highlight at Parliament’s event to celebrate a selection of recent acquisitions into the Parliamentary Art Collection. Christy is delighted to include this sculpture from the limited edition in FACING FORWARD.

Sally Anderson, The Gallery at Parndon Mill

The history of Parndon Mill goes back some time. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Successive buildings have stood on the site, milling flour from the grain grown on the rich farmland around.

Image: 'Little Girl Head' by Christy Symington is one of five of her sculptures in the exhibition

Sculpture in FACING FORWARD at Parndon Mill Gallery by Christy Symington