Galleries - July 2018

8 GALLERIES JULY 2018 There has been much written recently about spendingcuts on regional public museums and galleries’ budgets but this has been happeningfor many years. And though money has often seemed tight, in retrospect the 1970s and early 80s now look rather like a golden age. Meanwhile, though the big national museums like Tate, includingTate St Ives, have had to bear some cuts also, the sheer scale and pullingpower of their wonderful collections has largely absorbed, or at least masked the more detrimental effects. In Cornwall somethingof the slack has been taken up by an increasingnumber of highly successful artists and patrons, so that the last few years have seen the establishment of several private art foundations in beautiful new, or extensively modernised, spaces such as the Jackson Foundation at St Just, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, and Kestle Barton on the Lizard, all putting on fine exhibitions in very striking venues. The Jackson Foundation, run by landscape painter Kurt Jackson, has seen a massive and very handsome old industrial building radically converted into a state of the art contemporary gallery – white walls, girdered ceiling and polished stone floors and, given Jackson’s particular environmental interests, a very green, carbon- positive concern that goes right down to paintings delivered within Cornwall by electric car! The exhibitions are pretty good too and while one of their central functions is to show Jackson’s own work, a recent retrospective of RCA trained, now Cornwall- based painter, Denzil Forrester, curated by Peter Doig and Matthew Higgs no less, marked the first in a programme of invited artist exhibitions focusing on “interesting, honest art that demands an audience.” In the current show ‘Kurt Jackson: Revisiting Turner’s Tourism’ the artist revisited some 12 of the sites that Turner painted during a series of tours in the South West in the early 19th century. As ever Jackson uses a wide range of expressive media over and above just that of painting – sculpture, installation, poetry and film among them – to create a vivid and illuminating body of work full of insights into Turner’s methods. Meanwhile at Marazion is the charming Summerhouse Gallery with a programme of summer shows including this month ‘Far West’. Always aiming to provide a good mix of the very well established and the up and coming artists from the region, this show focuses very much on the latter with a collective of gifted young artists from west Cornwall – painters Kit Johns, Helen Jones, Jack Davis and Jade Bowmer, sculptor Tom Leaper and ceramicist Jake Boex. There are, too, always plenty of other immensely buyable pieces including glass and jewellery by gallery artists and craftsmen. East along the coast on the Lizard Peninsula is the remote (it really is) and atmospheric Kestle Barton, converted ancient farm buildings that now form ‘a rural centre for contemporary art’. They produce an admirable and adventurous programme of exhibitions and events and this year is no exception. Without being in any sense a ‘local’ gallery, there is often a strong Cornish thread. Up to 9 July, there is a quietly moving film on musical creativity by the acclaimed Dutch film-maker Manon de Boer in which, inspired by young people seen performing at the International Music Seminar at nearby Prussia Cove, she invited three music students from Helston Community College to improvise and play at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. An exploration, as she sees it, of the nature of musical communication, the film (entitled ‘Bella, Maia and Nick’) forms part of a series recording children making music for their own pleasure, the underlying theme being how time provides conditions for creativity. ‘an increasing number of artists and patrons. . .’ rt Cornwall above A ndrea Insoll ‘Pinks’, The New Gallery