Liz Polunin

Born 1943 in Petersfield, Hampshire, Liz Polunin first exhibited aged 11 in a National Schools exhibition. As a musician she studied the viola with Peter Schidlof (Amadeus Quartet) and played in a string trio with Jacqueline du Pre´ and Peter Thomas. She spent 2 years with The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and then won the only British Council post-graduate instrumental scholarship to Moscow Conservatorium. She then spent 25 years freelancing with London and international chamber orchestras. Liz next studied Applied Kinesiology and Chiropractic at Oxford, Bournemouth College of Chiropractic and the Open University, and became chairman of the McTimoney Chiropractic Assn. She specialized in musician’s injuries and wrote four self-help books for them. In his Foreword to the first, Lord Menuhin wrote “without doubt the reference book. Her advice is first-rate and comes from great, first-hand experience and much study and an all-encompassing mind. I would give my full and heartfelt endorsement.” She did an extensive lecture tour of New Zealand. She has also served as Clerk, Overseer, Elder and area member of Meeting for Sufferings for Surrey Quakers

Finally in 2003 she returned to her first love, painting, strongly influenced by the works of her grandparents in the National Portrait Gallery and the scenery they painted for Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet now at the V&A. Over 4 years she took short courses with Meriel Hoare, Margaret Merritt, Francis and Jason Bowyer, David Tress and Arthur Neal but mainly with Robin Child, concentrating on works of the late C20 from Cezanne onwards and on intuitive feel, colour and movement.  She was accepted the Master of Fine Arts course at West Dean, at Post-Graduate Diploma level and completed Master of Fine Arts in 2013

She has exhibited locally with Dunsfold, Cranleigh, Guildford and Farnham Art Societies, at VivArtis, in Compton and in Albury, at the Harvey Gallery, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and at Debenhams in Guildford.  She had four solo exhibitions with The Art Department, Haslemere.  In 2004 she was Highly Commended as runner up for Farnham’s James Hockey Prize for Painting at the  Surrey Institute for Art and Design and exhibited in Surrey Artists Open Studios and The Apple Gallery in Godalming. In 2005 she exhibited again at the Apple Gallery, at The Red Biddy Gallery Shalford, Clyde & Co for Guildford Arts and Llewellyn Alexander Gallery’s Salon des Refuse´s  from the RA in London, Farnham Art Society, Guildford House Gallery, appArt, and the New English Art Club at the Mall Galleries, London. 2006 saw over forty of her works in a successful joint Exhibition at Highgate Fine Art, North London with Eliza Andrewes followed by invitations to exhibit in their Christmas show. March 2007 she exhibited in the Twentieth Century Theatre in Notting Hill, West London and has been invited to exhibit by Guildford Arts at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre with other well known artists and to return yearly to Highgate Fine Art for their Summer show. She has exhibited at The Oxmarket  Gallery Chichester. At the instigation of Lucienne Day she was awarded FRSA

Artist’s Statement

I paint not what I see but what I feel about what I see, over time, its underlying structure and rhythm. A highly tactile reaction to landscape, conveys a passionate immediacy in my painting and graphite drawing, I am awed by the majesty of mountains and the weight of ‘aincent’ stones, the light scintillating and changing with the weather, of spaciousness and water, of being mid-performance rather than observing from the outside.

In the same way I am fascinated by what happens to paint and colour on the canvas, paper or board; the integrity and risk of a fiercely applied mark or juicy slash of paint, the tactile overlays or scrape through; translucent colour singing against subtle adjacent opacities. Succulent paint over paint in simple planes, carves out the enormous grandeur, space and height that I  find. The splendid variety available in a severely limited palette applied in a free manner, gives glow, density and richness. I am entranced by the shimmering that occurs as the emitted light bounces off the painting surface.

I am less concerned with an exact likeness than in creating the feeling with the integrity and risk of fiercely applied marks. These retain a personal presence; a response that is far more than just description.

Contact Liz


90 Lloyd Road Graylingwell Park Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6AZ