Pippa Darbyshire is British, born in Malaysia and now living in France.
At the age of 40, after a first career as a dancer she went to art school in Ipswich and then on to do a Fine Art Degree at Norwich. After college she had immediate success as an artist and had many solo shows in Suffolk, London in UK and the Bay de Somme in France.
In 1990 she opened her own art gallery with a small private art school in Suffolk called Artworks and at the same time taught life drawing on the degree course at Suffolk College.
In 2001 Pippa and her husband Peter moved to France and opened their art gallery Relais de la Baie, mainly as a platform for selling her own work. It has been a great success and marks a turning point in her art career. She has been exhibiting almost exclusively “chez elle” for the past 13 years, enjoying the independence and the contact with her customers, who come from all over northern Europe and in particular from Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain and northern France. She considers her work to be very much within the ‘Northern Tradition’.
Pippa is best known for her paintings of “la Baie de Somme”, which she adores for its calmness and light and wide open space. Her seascapes are very simplified and minimal with a limited palette. As before with dance, her main interest is in the construction and composition, with the abstract qualities of a work rather than the subject or narrative.
Peter Cooke is Pippa’s partner. Together they renovated the Relais de la Baie and created the gallery and salon-de- thé which runs weekends and holidays.
He is also a fantastic cook. He uses local and organic produce and specialises in vegetarian dishes.