As lockdown prevented local artist Gilly Marklew from holding her usual art classes she decided to take the opportunity to embark on a long-term art project – to work on her first love of figurative painting.

Gilly Marklew

She told us: “Figure painting is my favourite thing, but models are expensive and portraits are something I haven’t broken into yet. Also I wanted to create a context for the figures as I think it adds interest to a painting, a kind of visual poetry, so I thought of painting people doing their job of work and put a post on the Friendly Bungay Facebook page for businesses to come forward and take part in my project”.

She was delighted when a number of businesses stepped forward and she enjoyed meeting them, hearing about their work and their connections to Bungay.

The paintings will form part of an exhibition and will include a biography of the people and businesses in the paintings alongside them, at which point the paintings will be offered for sale.

Said Gilly: “The people of Bungay make up the character of a town and this is my way of honouring and documenting them in this time”.

BEBA is very much hoping that we can put on an exhibition of Gilly’s work as part of the Festival of the Arts planned for next year.

Here is a selection of some of the work Gilly has so far completed:

The Old Bank Tearooms

Earsham Street Fish Company

Giddens & Thompson Greengrocer







Grahame Bolton Kitchens

Charlie Oldham of Ma Belle bakery & cafe











Gilly’s studio, near Hempnall

For details of Gilly’s classes visit