GRAHAM RICH OPEN SEA
Exhibition 14 May to 6 June 2011
Private View: Friday 13 May 6 - 9pm
Belgrave St Ives
22 Fore Street
St Ives, Cornwall
Born in Devon, Graham Rich has lived for a great many years on the banks of the
River Exe. He built his first boat aged 10, since then boats and water have been a
major part of his life. Having previously sailed from his native Devon to neighbouring
Cornwall on many occasions, it seems to make sense to bring an exhibition of his
work, that feature boats and sailing, to the seaside town of St Ives, itself founded on
fishing and more recently host to a (still) thriving artist colony. Utilising found marine
materials, the work has an aesthetic quality that enjoys a rich resonance with the
town of St Ives. However, in Graham Rich’s work there is an underlying conceptual
The artist says the sailing boat first appeared in his work subconsciously. He began
scratching the image of his own boat on pieces of wood and other materials found
during voyages. This realised a different kind of space within his painting and the
discovery that ‘the found is more powerful than the made’. The addition of the etched
boat would mysteriously reveal the coastlines, weather conditions, harbours and
underwater hazards of his actual voyaging experiences.
On another level, the symbol of the boat can stand as metaphor for life’s journey and
its difficulties and the elation experienced. As the poet Tom Clark has written, the
relatively diminished scale of the sailing boat is both significant and critical. He said
that the boat, which is beyond hailing distance, defined a boundary in human
relationships. The boat can be seen as either sailing away from communication, or
sailing towards it. A pertinent image of the way we live today.
1) Photographs of work in this exhibition are available on request in high or low resolution.
2) The artist and/or curator are available for interview, please contact through Belgrave St
Ives to make an appointment (tel. 01736 794888).
3) Belgrave St Ives, formally Belgrave Gallery St Ives opened in 1998 as sister gallery to
Belgrave Gallery (established London 1974)
4) Michael Gaca is Director Belgrave St Ives and Curator of this exhibition.
5) The artist is represented in London by The Fine Art Society (established 1876)