This painting, Lafrowda Day 2014, is the successor to eleven previous Lafrowda paintings. That this one feels to me strangely different from its predecessors may be partly due to the fact that it was painted at The Lanherne Studio in St Columb rather than in the town of St Just where the festival took place and where all the others were made.
It was returning to St Just for Lafrowda Day in mid July 2014 that supplied the initial inspiration for the picture. Perhaps this time however the added element of physical distance during the weeks of studio work that I spent on it highlighted its independent existence. As with previous Lafrowda pictures the painting process was based on memories informed by digital references about the surreal images I had seen at the festival but celebrating all this material in paint here in a different town has enhanced for me the feeling that this was a Lafrowda of the mind. Could there really have been such extraordinary juxtapositions? Did some of these figures really reach to the rooftops or was it indeed all in my mind?
An aspect of this curious feeling as I worked and especially since completing the painting has been a suspicion that this time the cast of characters who inhabit it are actually part of me. Are they archetypes I wondered or even personifications of old papa Freud’s ideas? Fascinating!
As with most of my previous Lafrowda paintings the sale of this one will benefit the festival in future years. Many thousands of pounds are required to stage the two week festivities that culminate on Lafrowda Day in Cornwall’s most westerly town of St Just. Numerous local schools and other groups take part in a surge of creativity that is a great source of satisfaction for everyone involved as well as attracting thousands of visitors whose time spent there certainly boosts the town’s economy.
To see a larger image of the Lafrowda 2104 painting click on the image above or on https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/lafrowda-day-2014/ . To see images of all the previous Lafrowda paintings go to https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/exhibitions/ten-years-lafrowda-paintings-exhibition/ .