BIOGRAPHY – Gilly Gobinet
Antiguan artist Gilly Gobinet moved to the Caribbean in 1984. As a child, she longed to go to art school, but her practical Mother guided her towards a scientific career, claiming that her ability to draw would never fade. Her BSc Hons. Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Sussex in the UK eventually led to a job for the Council of Europe, an international organisation in Strasbourg, France.
The move to Antigua coincided with her starting a family and her then-husband being offered the job of starting the physiotherapy department at the hospital. The demand for biologists being practically non-existent, Gilly decided to test her Mother’s prediction and was delighted to find that her artistic ability was still present, albeit rusty from lack of any formal training. Then followed a number of years of trial and error during which Gilly experimented with pen-and-ink, watercolour, acrylic, oil and other media. During this period she developed a number of styles, including a liking for cartoons, which proved useful later on for book illustrations.
It was Antigua in particular and the Caribbean in general, as she visited the various islands, that provided the initial inspiration for her art, which largely depicts all aspects of life in the West Indies. Gilly’s subjects tend to draw from a mixture of personal observation and reference photographs she takes mostly herself. Her quirky sense of humour often emerges in her different pieces as well as in her cartoons.
The main body of her work at present is in the form of reproduction art, all shown on this website. Her Caribbean prints are either generic or are illustrations of specific places or situations in the West Indies.
She has also participated in numerous exhibitions and one-man shows over the years in Antigua and elsewhere in the Caribbean, winning various prizes. She accepts commissions and can easily work from old photographs, recreating scenes or houses, or reproduces current locations, situations, people or animals with artistic alacrity. Not afraid of a challenge, Gilly also enjoys matching new paintings with different themed decors and colour schemes.
Gilly has used her talent for illustration in four small books in the Cool Caribbean Books series, which she also wrote, edited and published. The prize-winning Cool Caribbean Cookery Book combines her love of cooking, which developed whilst she lived in France, with her artistic abilities.
Finally, Gilly is happy to provide one-on-one courses in watercolour and drawing to interested visitors to Antigua. All arrangements are specifically tailored to each individual need.