Thursday, 11 June 2015

Joyce Dennys cards on sale at Fairlynch

Few local artists are as well known in Budleigh Salterton for their keen eye and their witty portrayal of small town life as Joyce Dennys, whose achievements were celebrated recently with the installation of a blue plaque at Lion House, her former home on Fore Street Hill.


Joyce Dennys died in 1991 after a remarkable career as book illustrator, wartime poster designer, novelist, playwright and of course painter. Some of her paintings are owned by Budleigh Salterton Town Council and hang in the Public Hall, while others are on display at Fairlynch Museum.   

Early in 1995, the Museum commissioned a professional photographer to produce prints of seven of her paintings. The most successful prints would be used for the production of greetings cards, for sale at Fairlynch. The cards have proved so popular that a new batch has been produced and are now on sale at the Museum.

The example seen above is part of a series of mermaid-themed fantasy images in a local setting that Joyce Dennys completed. This particular scene, identifiable as Budleigh beach, was painted as a mural in the bathroom of Lion House.

Dick Edmunds is seen, left, next to Joyce Dennys in a 1961 amateur production of the 1950s play All for Mary written by Kay Bannerman and Harold Brooke 

Like some of the artist’s other work involving mermaids, it features a white-moustachioed elderly gentleman being led astray.   

Some locals believe that the character was modelled on Dick Edmunds, who had appeared in amateur dramatic productions with Joyce Dennys. But the artist always denied such rumours.

The greetings cards are on sale for £2.00 each, only at the Museum. You can buy a set of three for £5.00.  

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