Cottage Lover

Forrester, Denzil
As a student at the Royal College of Art in the early 1980s, Denzil Forrester spent time in all-night reggae and blues clubs creating loose, gestural drawings that he later translated into large-scale paintings. Forrester carried over his approach to drawing – ‘quick and without thinking too much’, guided by what he was ‘seeing and experiencing’ – into his painting practice. He describes his painting Cottage Lover (1997) as a ‘mixture of my nightclub painting and the interior of my family cottage in Cornwall’, explaining that ‘the painting features a couple in the fire of love, love like a thief in the night, love that comes and goes, leaving burning desires in its path. It’s a moonlit night in Splatt Cottage: the moon, stairs, table, floor, window and front door are jumping to Cottage Lover’s rhythm. The thief of love wants to escape, but the movement, action and expression of Cottage Lover have him spellbound, to stay and play on.’
  • Artwork Details: 183 x 122cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: Oil on canvas
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: ACC37/2016



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.