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About Us

Coombe Gallery was originally set up by Paul and Tina Riley as part of the Coombe Farm Studios educational complex. The gallery has played an active role promoting new talent alongside Internationally acclaimed artists. Coombe Gallery is proud to support charities that assist artists and help those who work to improve our environment.

Situated in the idyllic pedestrianised Foss Street in Dartmouth, Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth is dedicated to promoting the cream of predominantly Westcountry artists and makers. We also provide a platform for emerging artists with our annual ‘Rising Stars’ exhibition in October highlighting the best of the students graduating each year.

Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth is run by Mark Riley an Art History graduate of Aberdeen University and fourth generation member of the family to be involved in Fine Art.

Here’s a potted history about our artistic heritage!

milos

Milos Jiranek – 1875 – 1911 Czech artist and writer

1: Milos Jiranek – Grandfather to Tina Riley and Mark’s Great Grandfather. Milos was an artist whose work was heavily influenced by artistic movements outside of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was instrumental in developing a new sense of Czech artistic identity that embraced the art movements happening in Paris and the wider European horizons.To this end he and others formed the Manes Society and invited noted European artists to exhibit with them in Prague. Of particular note are Auguste Rodin and Edvard Munch. His own work was influenced by Impressionism.

milos-munch

Left to Right: Milos Jiranek, Edvard Munch & Jan Preisler

 1905 – Edvard Munch – SVU Manes exhibition in Prague – Munch’s exhibition in Prague in 1905 became a part of the history of Czech art – just because it revealed so forcefully the problematic questions of modern painting and its current struggles. MiloŠ Jiránek gave an accurate account of the relationship between Munch’s work and the development of European painting, and pointed out his unique personal value for artists: “He shows us once again new possibilities and new perspectives, and extends the scope of modern art by the whole range of today’s sorrows and grief, by cheerless gifts, but close to us, and precious, because they are the sorrows and grief of all of us modern men – and in this lies his new greatness”.
milos-and-Rodin 1902 –  visit of Auguste Rodin to Prague for his major exhibition with SVU Manes. Here visiting Moravian Slovakia in 1902 (Auguste Rodin and Alfons Mucha, followed by the artists Miloš Jiránek, Josef Mařatka, and Joža Uprka), reproduction from 1954, photograph. The Fotoarchiv Fund, The Museum of Czech Literature, Prague (photograph provided by The Museum of Czech Literature)

Riley's-1

L-R: Francesa, Joan, Paul, Alexander & Cecil. (Nikki, just born, is not shown here)

2. Paul Riley – Father to Mark, Antony & Lara. Husband to Tina. Paul was taught to paint initially at home by his parents Cecil and Joan who met as art students themselves at The Slade School of Fine Art. Cecil later became an art teacher at the local grammer school in London where Paul studied so he ended up receiving tuition from his father both at home and school.At the Age of 15 Paul had a work accepted by the Royal Academy for their summer exhibition. At that time one of the youngest artists to have done so. Here’s an interesting link to the Pathe news reel from 1960 covering the event. http://www.britishpathe.com/search/query/paul+riley

Paul Riley

Paul Riley – b. 1944 – Artist & writer.

Paul went on to meet Tina at Kingston art school and later set up Coombe Farm Studios in Devon from where he still teaches. Lara Lloyd, Paul’s daughter, now runs Coombe Farm Studios with her husband Martin and alongside Paul’s courses they run a host of events, year round, both in Devon and abroad.

family

L-r: Antony, Mark, Lara, Paul, Tina & Mimi

We look forward to welcoming you to Coombe Gallery in Dartmouth. We will endeavour to answer your artistic queries to the best of our abilities and hopefully have some fun along the way!

Mark Riley – 00 44 (0) 1803 835 820 – mark@coombegallery.com

And finally a little family exhibition:
 great-grandma The artist’s wife by Milos Jiranek. (Great grandmother) Painting known as ‘White Study’ from 1910. Gallery of European Art, Liberec, Czech Republic.