Yolanda Chetwynd is a visual artist, born and raised in England. She received a Masters in Professional Studies in Art Therapy from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 1989. Prior to her studies at Pratt, Chetwynd studied painting in London, and in 1982 received a Bachelor of Arts First Class Honors, from Camberwell School of Art. She continued graduate work at the Slade, part of London University, and in 1987 received her High Diploma. While studying painting in England, she received several scholarships and awards for her work, which included the prestigious Boise scholarship, enabling her to paint in India for a year. She has been living in Newark, Delaware since 1987.
Chetwynd is very influenced by her visits to India that have occurred over the last 30 years, in which time she has become familiar with a number of Indian communities and has formed long lasting friendships. She is known for her vibrant watercolours and oil paintings of Indian street scenes. All the watercolours are painted directly from life, whereas the oil and acrylic paintings are done in her studio. Colour plays a strong role in her creative process. She creates “pools” of colour on her glass palette. She often spends hours mixing colours that will enhance the drama of the ensuing stories she tells on canvas. Using a range of shades, she draws with the paint, moving tiny amounts of pigment around the surface of the painting. As she works, iconography, symbols, and natural features appear, dissolve and reappear, often viewed from different perspectives. They provide clues and link the segments of the story together.
The wandering nature of her European Jewish heritage, and her husband’s displaced Hindu family, relocated to India during the 1947 partitioning, has resonated strongly in her life and in her paintings. One cannot help but notice how the figures in her paintings are “staged”, and how they stand with very well defined legs and feet. Their powerful stance gives them a feeling of permanence and presence, and keeps them grounded in their surroundings. Many of her paintings seem to reflect upon a single truth. That is, how important it is to establish roots amongst displaced people and communities. Her depictions of everyday activities are a joyful reminder that people weave their lives valiantly in to the fabric of humanity, despite its difficulties and vulnerabilities, in order to maintain that crucial sense of belonging.
Her paintings have been sold into collections in North America, Asia, and Europe. She has exhibited work, regionally and internationally in New York, NY, London, and Oxford, England, France and India. Throughout this time she has continually showed locally in bushiness and galleries including the Newark Art Alliance in Newark, DE. Her regional exhibitions include Tower Hill School, The Blue Streak Gallery, and the Delaware Center of Contemporary Art in Wilmington, DE, and the Muse Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.
Newark, DE 19711