Lupe Cunha originates from Brazil from where her colours are inspired.
She started her artistic life over 40 years ago first in Chicago where she was inspired by the Abstract Expressionists and the frozen waters of Lake Michigan. Then, in Brazil, she was influenced by the colour work of Helio Oiticica and the mountains and sea of Rio. Finally settling in the UK in 1981, Lupe found that artists like John Piper, Peter Lanyon and John Hoyland added a new dimension to her work while our milder weather served to cool her colours down and added the contrast and expressive mark-making of her present style.
Her work up until 2017 had been predominantly an abstract figurative style usually inspired on her own travels, photographs and memories from which she developed her paintings. One of her projects (Memories), still ongoing, relates to her personal history, her childhood and her family home.
But in the last year, she has primarily returned to the pure Abstraction of her youth. This has given her current work a whole new dimension. Like Kandinsky before her, she associates the movements of her paintings to instrumental music. In this she is possibly influenced by her new musician husband as she now riffs in her abstract painting as he does on the guitar. Abstract art to her is like the improvisations of music, explored, developed and fine-tuned until it clearly expresses the variations of her thoughts and emotions. She welcomes the freedom provided by abandoning the constraints of subject matter as recommended by Patrick Heron. Using colour,mark-making and value to provide her with the music sheet on which to build her compositions, allows her to more clearly explore the many nuances of the inspiration for each of her pieces of work.
Lupe Cunha lives in Sudbury and works from Cuckoo Farm Studios (CFS) in Colchester.
She runs regular monthly workshops in Benham Gallery at CFS and also in the grounds of the farm over the summer. You can see her current programme with availabilities in Workshops.
Also take a look at her blog (www.lupecunha.com) to see what she has been doing recently...