Renowned figurative artist Lorna May Wadsworth is launching a new collection of affordable art at her pop-up website helping to raise funds for The Murray Parish Trust.
Wadsworth is once again making one hundred pictures available to buy online – individually priced from £100 to £5,000 – with 10 % from the sale of each sale going to the charity. With the much sought-after artist’s work regularly selling for thousands of pounds, this is a rare chance to buy an original piece or limited-edition print for a fraction of the usual price, while supporting a worthy cause. Pieces are snapped up within seconds of the site going live, so set your alarm and get ready to keep hitting refresh.
“This project began with my desire to make my work accessible to my friends and followers. I mostly tend to work on big commissions and large projects. It’s great to produce small scale, fun work about where I’ve been and my influences, and rediscover older work again,” Lorna explains.
The collection is a colourful cornucopia of Wadsworth’s interests, insights, and influences. Her love of Hollywood’s golden age is reflected in her exquisite charcoals of icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn – rendered in charcoal on sheets of Mylar upon large strokes of clear gesso, as though magically appearing within the brush strokes.
Her jewel-like little street scenes glow with her obsession of low light and the halos it creates as people move through the city. Vast blue skies and stripy silhouettes in deckchairs evoke long summer days. Flowers bloom and silver jugs shimmer while her Andy Warholstyle red lip paintings literally pop.
Wadsworth’s formidable draughtsmanship is especially evident in her actor sketches, executed in breathless dynamic marks during live sittings between rehearsals, of actors including Dominic West, Jack Holden and Tomiwa Edun, as they slipped into the characters they were portraying, each in charcoal and pastel on a coloured ground.
Meanwhile, those clamouring for tickets to see the Chanel exhibition at the V&A may want to snap up her limited-edition print, ‘Coco After Horst’. Visitors to Hockney’s ‘Lightroom’ exhibit will be likely be enchanted by her little prints featuring silhouettes of her Danish muse set before the Bradford artist’s most celebrated works – all from £100. (Wadsworth’s had a ‘Muse’ for over a decade, who is seeminlgy supernaturally goodlooking.
The sketches of him are bound to become collector’s items. Wadsworth is famed for her large-scale portraits of leading figures, from her remarkable painting of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, which sold for £500,000. Other subjects painted from live sittings include Tony Blair, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Sheen, David Tennant and Lily Cole, to name but a few. For her painting of celebrated author Neil Gaiman, she devised a unique process for painting on ancient bog oak, which was exhibited at an immersive experience timed for the release of Amazon series, Good Omens in 2019.
Meanwhile, the artist made international headlines with her sensational interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous The Last Supper. Blending ancient and modern references, the artist cast Jamaican model Tafari Hinds as the central figure of Christ. Her painting ‘A Salvator Mundi’ is currently on show at The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in the John Moores Painting Prize.
Last year a proportion of each sale went to The Trussell Trust, raising over £6,500 for their work with food banks. This year, she is supporting the Murray Parish Trust, a charity very close to her heart.Created by the artist’s dear friends, actors Sarah Parish and James Murray, the charity was established in memory of their daughter Ella- Jayne, who died of a congenital heart defect.
In 2014 Sarah Parish and James Murray founded The Murray Parish Trust which is dedicated to the advancement of paediatric emergency medicine across the South of England. The charity ensures that children affected by major trauma can receive the best emergency care as close to home as possible. The trust predominantly supports projects at Southampton Children’s Hospital which advance and enhance children’s healthcare, including mental health, beyond that which is possible through NHS funding and driving forward the future of children’s healthcare in the UK.
About May Wadsworth
Born in Sheffield, Lorna May Wadsworth now operates from her studio in East London. She rose to prominence in the contemporary art world before she had graduated from Falmouth College of Art, with a series of notable works, including portraits of the Right Honourable, Lord David Blunkett and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
One of her most acclaimed works, a monumental portrait of the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher, was completed from five life sittings. The resultant painting is one of the most commanding and respected formal portraits of a modern British Prime Minister.
Throughout her career, Wadsworth has continually challenged the portrait tradition and a recurrent theme throughout her work is the inversion of the gendered gaze. The canon of
Western art has invariably favoured the female subject seen through the eyes of the male artist. In her series Beautiful Boys, Wadsworth transfers the power balance, so that she holds the gaze of the male subject and places him on display for all to see.
A retrospective of her work, held at Graves Gallery in her home city of Sheffield, brought together her most celebrated works for the first time, including her contemporary interpretation of Leonardo’s Last Supper fresco in Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Other highlights from her 25-year career include her dazzling portraits of the actor Sir Derek Jacobi, award-winning film maker Richard Curtis, former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Tony Blair and Dr Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. She is currently included in the 2023 John Moores Painting Prize with her piece ‘A Salvator Mundi’.