Galleries - July 2015

art Cornwall st ives, penzance & newlyn C4 CORNWALL AND WEST COUNTRY GALLERIES JULY 2015 With its key role in the history of British Modernism, Tate St Ives and a profusion of commercial galleries in the town remain the Cornish art world’s epicentre. The Tate’s summer show focuses on the work of the late Bryan Winter, using his kinetic sculptures to kick off an exploration of movement and light as used and manipulated by artists such as Op art pioneer Bridget Riley, Liliane Lijn and American minimalist Dan Flavin. Specialising originally in British Modernism, Belgrave St Ives successfully combines this remit with a canny eye on what is currently happening amongst established and up and coming local artists. This summer they are mounting an evolving St Ives themed exhibition featuring three painters. As a tribute to Barbara Hepworth, Eric Ward has been working in her St Ives sculpture garden to produce 12 paintings reflecting the changing seasons. Graham Rich has conceptualised a voyage from his home on the River Exe to St Ives using wood and found objects to trace its stages through time and space. Planted with feet firmly in St Ives, Linda Weir has concentrated on the harbour and the daily comings and goings of the boats and fishermen, a world she has known and loved for the last two decades. At New Craftsman Gallery Neil Davies’ exhibited landscapes are inspired by local light and storms, the area’s ancient lines and granite, the stark beauty and primordial wilderness. These are complemented by strikingly colourful ceramics by Tanya Gomez and Lawrence Murley’s sculpture of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and crustaceans, carved in a selection of beautifully coloured stone. Last year’s Nick Bodimeade show at Porthminster Gallery was a huge success and this year expectations are naturally high. In tandem with this is a celebration of the work and long career of sculptor Margaret Lovell. Besides painting, sculpture and ceramics in their members’ show, Penwith Gallery has two solo exhibitions of paintings by Vincent Wilson and Daphne McClure, both with distinguished track records and not to be missed. Across the peninsula, Penzance and Newlyn rival St Ives in art historical kudos and have their own public galleries including cutting edge The Exchange, this summer showing Robert Therrien’s playful sculptures of oversized objects. The town doesn’t lack for commercial galleries either – this month Cornwall Contemporary are showing paintings by Maggie Matthews, an artist whose colourful, large scale abstracts are increasingly making reference to the natural world. In this latest collection ‘Drawing upon Nature’ she frequently uses the shells and seed pods found on walks to produce marks and textures in the paint. Rhythmic, joyous and bold these are paintings to lift the spirits and (dare I say?) gladden the heart. For an understanding in how Newlyn became such a centre for art, make a visit to Newlyn School Gallery where they specialise in this renowned genre. The gallery have a rich collection, including works by Charles Napier Hemy and Stanhope A Forbes, and regularly lend and sell to other galleries and museums worldwide. An eclectic blend of contemporary fine art is on show at The Alverton Gallery , recently under new ownership. Paintings, ceramics, sculpture and prints from more than 60 artists and makers predominantly from Cornwall means there is sure to be something for everyone. The symbiosis between leading edge art and the garden is probably nowhere better illustrated than at Tremenheere Sculpture Garden outside Penzance. The latest work to be added, Penny Saunders’ ‘Restless Temple’, is now in situ – a vast structure suggesting a Greek temple whose pillars confound expectations by swaying gently in the wind. An exciting new development here is the Millennium Gallery space bringing some outré St Ives to rural Penzance. Pip Palmer