Galleries - September 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014 GALLERIES 11 and Eternity in an hour”. Perception and Illusion by Michael Porter is showing at the Wills Lane Gallery . A visit to Marazion is always worth the effort, made doubly so by a retrospective of paintings by John Piper at the Summerhouse Gallery . In 1998 he was singled out by John Miller as one of Cornwall's up and coming artists; this exhibition covers the last fifty years and includes studies of rock formations from the early 70s with their typically subdued colours, through to his later vibrant paintings focusing on the vernacular architecture of Penwith redolent with the vibrant play of light on granite. Squeezing within the remit of this piece by virtue of being a September show (though just outside of festival dates) an exhibition at Salthouse Gallery sounds promising. 'Elemental Language' comprises work by artist and poet Jenny Ryrie – colourful, dynamic and compelling, it is about the energies and poetry of the coastal landscape. It is, as she says, “the underlying mystery of nature and the resonance between its powerful moods and our own human emotions” that moves her. Pip Palmer an erudite man, well travelled and well read and there are many clues to myth and topography buried within these seemingly abstract canvases. Colour is here too and with it chromatic contrasts that can shake the viewer out of any lingering lyrical complacency. In tandem with a mixed show of Modern British and St Ives Moderns (a roll call of artists to make even the most jaded salivate) Belgrave Gallery have an exhibition of work by Felicity Mara. Mara moved from London to Cornwall in 1994 and in 2013 she took over one of the newly renovated and historic Porthmeor studios. With its almost palpable closeness to the sea, it is, as she describes it, “almost like being on a ship”. Her work from this last year is about the transition and transformation to her working practices brought about by this change of place. She further elucidates the workings of the genius loci in a talk at the gallery on the 18th. Derbyshire born Michael Porter moved to west Cornwall in 1997, since when he has become intensely familiar with the cliffs and coastline of the area making these the core subject matter for his extraordinary landscape studies. Innovatory techniques and his absorption within the subject create work that is at once highly detailed and vastly macrocosmic. Liken it to Blake; his “World in a grain of sand . . . Infinity in the palm of your hand With an almost perceptible sigh of relief the tempo changes in St Ives this month as buckets and spades are packed away and the September Festival gets into gear. Arguably it's what St Ives does best – a raffish mix of music, poetry, dancing and street theatre in which artists open their studios, ceramicists their workshops and galleries are able to mount more selective exhibitions. At the Crypt Gallery ( St Ives Society of Artists ) there is a rare selling exhibition of work by Robert Borlase Smart. “St Ives personified” was how his friend and fellow artist Leonard Fuller described him at his death in 1947 by which time, as Secretary of the St Ives Society, he had done much to anticipate and encourage the Modernist secession of two years later. Paintings by Matthew Lanyon, whose work is very much part of this modernist tradition, are showing at New Craftsman Gallery . When he first started painting the nod to his father, Peter Lanyon, was writ large but since then the trajectory has been very much his own. He is from left: T erry Frost ‘Untitled (Black & White)’ c.1998, (Kemp 185), woodcut, 120 x 50 at Belgrave St Ives. Matthew Lanyon ‘Cat's Cradle’ at New Craftsman Gallery Michael Porter ‘Cornish Stones Series’ 29-05-14 at Wills Lane Gallery S HIP TO SHORE cornwall art festival . . . palpable closeness to the sea, it is, as she describes it, “almost like being on a ship”.