Rosemary Clunie

Artist Statement

Rosemary Clunie is a painter, printmaker and video artist, born in Scotland and living in Hampstead. She has exhibited at the World Economic Forum in Davos amongst other places.

“Clunie’s use of colour is billowing, rich and dreamlike – complementary to the rhythm of the prose – although, as Okri clarifies, the artworks came first. Snatches of white page, which gleam underneath loosely inscribed birds, buildings and trees bearing stars, resonate with the quality of space in Okri’s compact tales.” – New Statesman review of The Magic Lamp

“… artist Rosemary Clunie, whose work recalls that of Joan Miro or Quentin Blake… her colourful images – in rainbow hues” – Financial Times

“Always experimenting, Clunie enacts a peculiar dance throughout her artwork to combine the real world with a world spun from her imagination and inspiring ours. To those who listen, her playful work is often laced with disguised commentary…Her practise of weaving together vivid colours and textures together to create a mystical world…” – buzzmag

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle


“The Magic Lamp is an extraordinary collaboration between artist and artist – the Booker prize-winning writer Ben Okri and Rosemary Clunie. Together they have created a world, and peopled it with dreams. Fairy tales for adults, these narratives are a response to our times, informed by our world but not limited by it, imaginative, enchanting, haunting – both prescient and prophetic. The original paintings, beautiful, playful, intimate and dreamline, pull you into a land of colour and vision. Both words and images grew together out of a long friendship and creative symbiosis.”

Ben Okri writes about The Magic Lamp: “In this book the paintings came first. The stories came after each painting had been lived with for a long time. The stories do not illustrate the paintings. They reach to the world from which the paintings came, the under stream of our lives. There one dream shades into another in a vast sea of being that we all unknowingly share.”

Rosemary Clunie’s paintings encourage the viewer to travel for a few moments from the ordinary world into a realm of the imagination – to an inner dimension where art lives freely away from the rigid climate of the times, and yet stimulates a fresh interaction with reality.

Rosemary Clunie is a painter, printmaker and video artist, born in Scotland, living in Hampstead. Her art training included courses at City Lit, The Slade, City & Guilds, the Cass and London Print Studio. She has exhibited widely since 1991 and her paintings are held in eminent public and private collections.


“The mind’s eye begins to see clearly when the outer eyes grow dim.” – Plato

“Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks.” – Plutarch

“The quest is for simplicity… an intuition in which, in a lightning flash, all things are made clear.” – Ben Okri

“Painting for me is playful, an adventure in colour and form, a quest for a glimpse into the unknown.” – Rosemary Clunie