ref: h1q May 10-30 2012 CURWEN & NEW ACADEMY GALLERY Lucy Willis RWA - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index

Lucy Willis RWA

Cities of Stone

10th 30th May 2012, Private View 9th May , 6‐8pm

Artist talk 19th May 2pm

Curwen Gallery will be showing a collection of watercolours produced by Lucy Willis during

two recent painting expeditions: one to Malta in 2011 and the other to Syria in 2010.


Malta & Gozo in the footsteps of her grandfather H M Bateman

This show is timed to coincide with two major exhibitions celebrating the artistic legacy of Lucy

Willis’s late grandfather, HM Bateman. Well known as a cartoonist he was virtually unknown, until

now, as a painter. In May 2011 Willis traveled to the islands of Malta and Gozo where Bateman had

painted until his death in 1970. Using Bateman’s paintings as a guide, she was able to retrace his

footsteps, finding inspiration for her own work there amongst the lovely villages of Gozo and

magnificent harbours and ramparts of Malta.

In the capital, Valletta, Bateman’s work is considered a precious record of a bygone era on the

islands. Willis’s stunning new watercolours enhance and up‐date this record; her much loved and

distinctive response to light, to the play of shadow on buildings, to the interplay between sea and

sky, all powerfully evident. These paintings are a wonderful homage to her grandfather, to Malta,

its’ countryside and people.


Lucy Willis, The City of Stone, Valletta, Malta, watercolour on paper, 57 x 76cm



Just around the corner from Lucy Willis’s exhibition at Curwen Gallery a major retrospective of HM

Bateman’s comic drawings ‘The Man Who Went Mad on Paper’ can be seen at the Cartoon

Museum. Equally near‐by, his oil paintings are being shown at Abbot and Holder: ‘H M Bateman,

The Malta Years’

Syria in quieter times

Willis’s other expedition was to Syria, just a year before the outbreak of the current up‐rising. Her

paintings, also on show at Curwen Gallery, capture the beauty of this now troubled country. It

remains to be seen how much has been lost the architecture, landscape, quiet backstreets and

mosques ‐ which Willis has captured with such sensitivity and intensity. Her watercolours

celebrate the heritage and serenity of a special, ancient land something we may sadly not see

again for some time.


Lucy Willis trained at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. Since then has traveled

widely to find inspiration for her work. She has tutored painting groups in many countries across

the world and has written three books on painting technique. Continuously represented by a

London gallery since 1986, exhibitions include numerous solo and group exhibitions across the UK.

She won the BP Portrait Award in 1992 and was elected a member of the Royal West of England

Academy in 1993.

If you would like further information contact Robin Spalding by email

or tel. 020 7323 4700

H M Bateman, Mgarr Fishing Boats, Gozo, oil on paper, 40 x 51 cm

H M Bateman, The Banned Book, image courtesy of The Cartoon Museum

Lucy Willis, Caravanserai of the Olives, Damascus, watercolour on paper, 45 x 60 cm




Further Information

This year sees the 125th anniversary of the birth of the cartoonist H.M.Bateman. He spent the last

five years of his life painting on Malta and Gozo. To celebrate his life and work there will be three

London exhibitions close by the British Museum

Lucy Willis : Cities of Stone

Lucy Willis’s paintings of Malta, Gozo and Syria in quieter times, Malta & Gozo in the footsteps of

her grandfather H.M.Bateman,

Curwen & New Academy Gallery, 34 Windmill St, London W1T 2JR

Tel: 020 73234700 Email:

Private View May 9th 6‐8 pm, exhibition open from May 10th‐ 30th 2012

Lucy Willis will be talking about her work at the gallery on Saturday 19th May at 2 pm,

H. M. Bateman: The Malta Years

Bateman’s oil paintings of Malta and Gozo

Abbott and Holder, 30 Museum St, London WC1A 1LH

Tel: 020 7631 0575 Email:

Private view May 10th 6‐8pm , exhibition open from May 11th ‐ May 31st 2012

H M Bateman: The Man Who Went Mad on Paper

A major retrospective exhibition of cartoons.

The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell St, London WC1A 2HH

Tel: 020 7580 8155 Email:

April 11th – July 22nd 2012