The past comes alive in vivid colour at Corte Real

news: The past comes alive in vivid colour at Corte Real

TALENTED LOCAL artist Jessica Dunn’s latest collection, entitled Summer Seaside Stories, was inspired by two antique photo albums from the 1930s, unearthed in a Paris flea market by Algarve art gallery owner, Pedro Corte Real.

The albums are crammed with faded black and white images of two families enjoying a seaside break, one probably in England and the other in France, and Jessica was immediately enchanted by the lovingly posed pictures. “Both albums are full of photographs, obviously taken by the father of the family, and the details they reveal are delightful – the English album has two little girls wearing mackintoshes and cloche hats, while the French family are a little less formal,” she explains. “But both show real families enjoying each other’s company.”

Translating the black and white images of the unknown and long-since departed people into a series of 18, vividly colourful, oil paintings was a completely new experience for Jessica and one that she has relished. “I could use my imagination and let the colours come naturally. I loved this project; it was a very liberating experience.”

Jessica’s Summer Seaside Stories opens in the Corte Real Gallery in Paderne over a two-day period, on June 4 and 5. Gallery co-owner, Pedro Corte Real, is delighted with the collaboration. “When I picked up these albums in that Parisian flea market, I had no idea that the photographs in them would end up being translated into these superb oils,” he says.

Corte Real is open everyday, except Monday, from 10am until 6pm. It is off the beaten track, but well signposted from the centre of Paderne. For more information, telephone 289 368 600 or visit

• Jessica Dunn studied fine art at Kingston Polytechnic in London and moved to the Algarve in 1986. She has exhibited widely in both solo and collective shows in Portugal, England and Italy, including the prestigious International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Italy in 2003.