Daphne McClure is well known for her beautifully naïve depictions of Cornwall life. She draws on the area’s rich artistic heritage and paints local landscapes that maintain a contemporary and painterly feel. Daphne’s love for the coastline, moorland and fields of Cornwall has been fundamental to her artistic practice. Cornwall has always provided the inspiration behind her most quintessential work.
Daphne McClure was born in Helston, Cornwall, in 1930. As a student in London she attended the Hornsey College of Art and then Central School of Art before working as a costume designer for the Royal Opera House. Daphne with her husband George and their two children, returned to Cornwall in 1976 to settle in Porthleven, a small picturesque village on Cornwall’s south coast. As beautiful as the surrounding landscape was, Daphne was not enticed to paint it. Several years later a friend happened to show Daphne an aerial photograph of the area, which revealed the blocks of colour and different textures created by the tilled farmland, unkempt fields and dissecting hedgerows. This photograph struck a chord with Daphne and it remained a constant source of inspiration for many years. In 1988 the McClure family moved to a small holding on Tregonning Hill near Helston. The new surroundings further influenced the artist’s colour palette and the sea blues shifted to the more muted tones of ochre, umber and sienna. Daphne began to paint in series and produced groups of paintings such as ‘Godrevy Lighthouse’, ‘Hayle Estuary’, ‘Levant Mine’ and ‘St. Ives’.
In Cornwall Daphne became a member of both the Newlyn Society of Artists and the Penwith Society of Artists. In 1994 her ‘Levant Mine’ series of paintings was exhibited by Wilson Stephens Fine Art in Park Walk, London. In 1995 she was commissioned by Tate St Ives, to paint a picture for its inaugural exhibition. In 2005 she was invited to the Albers Foundation in Connecticut, USA on a prestigious artist residency. Daphne’s work is now widely recognised and has become extremely desirable and can be found in many private collections worldwide.