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We met up with portrait artist Vanessa Garwood to find out her emotions whilst painting, her new solo exhibition, “And is true? Is it not True? and the best part of My Little Pony..

When did your love for painting start and where? 
It sounds like I was quite a simple child as my parents were able to bribe me with scrap paper to keep me quiet.  Apparently one of the things I liked doing with the paper was drawing on it.  I lived in Israel until I was 7 and my parents loved travelling, we went to Kenya every year, so I started keeping diaries and sketchbooks with all the paper i had collected… so I guess traveling and a paper fetish is what started me off loving painting really.

What sense of emotion do you get from painting? 
Some of the time when I’m painting I’m just sort of quite neutral faffing about making tea and checking instagram.  But in those moments when it does go well it’s definitely my favourite emotion of all… more present and focused and feeling than any other time!  When it goes bad I do admit to enjoying a tantrum too.  So quite a full range of emotions to keep me busy really.

Your current exhibition Is it true? It is not True? Plays on the ideas of fables – can you tell us a little more and what sparked the idea!? 
Yes!  I’ve done a series of big narrative oil paintings – all inspired by a range of children’s literature (from different countries/cultures/ages). I’ve set them in a current context, depicting all the characters as adult, changing the stories a little to question and discuss how their morals are relevant to us today – and how the timelessness and conflict of their messages reflects human nature.  Ive been working on this project for several years so I’m really happy to see it finally up!

When you’re not painting where do you sneak off to!? 
To be honest anywhere really – I quite like a change of scenery.  My favourite recent trip was to Oman.  I pretty much fall in love with every place I go to – and my type seems to be pretty consistent: colourful and boiling hot.  I’m planning a trip away for six months right now but I am finding it totally impossible to decide on any one place.

Favourite London spot? 
I really like going to the ballet in London so maybe its the royal opera house.  I also really love the V&A art library, Brixton market… lots of places.

Can’t walk out of the house without?

Forgetting about five things.

Your earliest memory of jewellery and who/ where!?
My earliest jewellery memory was my very own red plastic heart shaped locket (containing the rainbow of light) as featured in many My Little Pony episodes which I was obsessed with.

Can you describe Bex Rox in three words? Eclectic Spirited Bold

Which piece of Bex Rox do you resonate with and how would you wear it!? 

Again I find it hard to pick only one!  The BexRox horn cuffs are a current obsession – as I think they are such a satisfying and unique piece of jewellery which really remind me of the exciting exploring trips which have been made to make them!


Thank you Vanessa!!

You can view Vanessa Garwood’s masterful and inspiring paintings at The Rook & Raven Gallery 
7 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HN, London