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2019 Cambridge Open Studios


14 Hauxton Road, Little Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5HJ (Contact: 01223 846330)


Perveen Tayabali is a local artist living in Little Shelford who is exhibiting her paintings
and drawings during the first three weekends in July.

As a child, she began drawing from the moment she picked up a pencil. ‘It was my most favourite thing to do… sit and draw. I found I was good at it and wanted to carry on doing it.’ School art instructions planted the first seeds of inspiration – the best class of the week. From around the age of thirteen, Perveen began experimenting with portraiture in pencil and watercolour.

She learnt a salutary lesson at art school when she discovered realistic portraiture that didn’t flatter her subject would not be received well! ‘I don’t look so old!’ said the disgruntled wife of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in Chennai, South India.

By the end of her first year at art school, Perveen had begun painting flowers in oil – bougainvillea and coral tree flowers, champa and gulmohar – and sold her first painting at sixteen. It was bought by a French professor who was working at the Alliance Francaise in Chennai. In Mumbai, Perveen exhibited at state level year upon year. After six years at art school, she changed direction for a while and worked as a textile designer for a large textile company.

After marrying fellow artist Dr Chotu Tayabali, Perveen switched to jewellery
design alongside her canvases, her portraiture and her growing family. Perveen and Chotu had joint exhibitions for several years in Mumbai, and their paintings reside in hotels, international corporations, airlines and homes around the globe.

These past twenty-five years have been quieter ones in England. Perveen doesn’t exhibit annually, and her large oil canvases of garden studies have been almost entirely replaced by commissioned portraits in chalk pastel, charcoal and oils. ‘I love portraiture and try to capture the inner beauty of the person, persons and occasionally animals, in each of my paintings. My portraits are bright and vivid whether painted in oils on canvas or in soft chalk pastels on heavy weight paper. I also do monochrome portraits in charcoal and in graphite.’

The most important feature of any of Perveen’s portraits are the eyes of her subject: ‘as Shakespeare once said, the eyes are the window to your soul. Eyes in any portrait must speak to me and the finished painting must connect with the viewer.

Perveen’s greatest satisfaction is in seeing the surprised delight on the face of the person who has commissioned her on first seeing the completed painting. Commissions and visitors are welcome all year long by appointment and there is always ample parking.

Shaista Tayabali.