Rediscovering a creative calm in the face of adversity.
Cora Margeaux Gollop’s life reads like a novel. Born one of five children, Cora’s childhood was a difficult one. Struggling with introversion, drawing and painting saved her, and created a sense of calm as chaos reigned: “I knew from an early age that I was creative. I constantly conjured images and puzzles in my mind and spent long hours drawing and painting, keeping scrapbooks, diaries and collecting treasures like a little magpie.”
At 18, Cora won a modelling competition which earned her a contract through the London Academy of Modelling and took her across the world. Later years saw Cora study for two degrees; the first in the provision for care for early years children with Autism and Asperger syndrome, an area she worked in as one-to-one teacher for 12 years; the second, a Masters in Reiki and Hypnotherapy.
Now working at Mylor yacht harbour, it wasn’t until lockdown and a cancer diagnosis, that Cora truly rediscovered her creative talent: “Painting again kept me from depression when it seemed like everything was lost. My conservatory is where I paint; in the quiet and solitude. It’s a place where I can get lost in time, and the energy I feel is like a waterfall, perpetual. Like a love affair, painting is my passion.”
Cora is self-taught and inspired by the beautiful Cornish coast, sea and landscape. She cites local artists Jilly Johns, Kit Johns and Shane Couch, alongside acclaimed poet and painter Rupert Loydell, as her inspiration. During lockdown, Cora painted two identical pieces, one with her right and one with her left hand, which were auctioned in aid of the NHS, a charity close to her heart. “I was so grateful to be able to give back just a small amount for the excellent care I received during a harrowing time.”
Cora lives in Cornwall with her husband John, a professional photographer who works exclusively for Getty images, and their beloved dog Tess.