Over the summer the newest branch of Fitzbillies, 15 King’s Parade, will be home to an exhibition of paintings of Life at Fitzbillies by local artist, Naomi Tomkys OBE. The 15 large oil paintings celebrate the customers, bakers, characters and cakes of Fitzbillies.

The subjects include customers in Fitzbillies coffee shops and restaurant, meeting friends; members of the Fitzbillies front of house team, behind their counters stocked with beautiful cakes, taking orders and serving customers and the Fitzbillies bakers, making the Chelsea buns early in the morning.

Naomi Tomkys said, ‘As a Cambridge artist I’d been thinking about capturing the essence of Fitzbillies in a series of drawings and paintings for ages. Wondering how fun it might be to immortalise Fitzbillies’ food, staff, history, patrons, vibe and even some drawings behind the scenes. Alison, the owner, and the whole Fitzbillies team loved the idea. So I’ve spent the last couple of months sketching, watercolouring and photographing at Fitzbillies. I didn’t realise how good I would have to get a painting cakes!'

Alison Wright, owner of Fitzbillies said, ‘It’s been an absolute pleasure having Naomi painting the business. It is easy to stop noticing when you are in an environment everyday and she has made me see anew the beauty of what we bake and particularly appreciate the moments of simple pleasure that are shared over our coffee, buns, cakes and brunch in our branches. I feel very proud of our whole team for the wonderful baked goods, food and coffee that they make and the environment they create for customers.

The exhibition will run at Fitzbillies King’s Parade until Monday 8th October. The paintings are available for sale – but hurry, six have sold already!


A little about Naomi Tomkys OBE

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve played the same people-watching game. I imagine what strangers walking past do, who they love and what’s in their pockets. My work is a development of this simple idea, I paint characters, I try to present their stories. I want my work to muster a familiar happiness, to laugh at the small things and feel a little warmer” - Naomi Tomkys

Naomi Tomkys grew up in London where she attended Central St. Martins School of Art. She now lives and works in Cambridgeshire and her inspiration comes from the day-to-day moments that make her smile. Recent paintings including scenes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge food trucks, punting, tourists, Lammas Land Pool and Strawberry Fair.    

Tomkys has shown in group and one-man shows both nationally and internationally, including The Mall Gallery, Sak and Catto Contemporary, Stapleford Granary, AKA Gallery and in exhibitions and collections as far afield as Texas, Los Angeles and Dubai. She exhibits regularly with the Cambridge Drawing Society and Open Studios and recently received an Arts Council Award to develop her practice.

Website: https://tomkys.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naomitomkys/

Saatchi: https://www.saatchiart.com/naomitomkys 

July 01, 2024 — Jenny Pace
Tags: Cambridge News

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