Monday, 17 February 2014

New Beginnings 2014 - Exhibition Tour and Private View

For those who are yet to visit our newly opened 'New Beginnings' exhibition, we have put together a selection of images alongside narration by gallery assistant and artist Izzy Adams to help put across why this show is a must see:

Ruth Naylor's work makes an impression upon entry to the gallery.

Ruth Naylor's dynamic oil paintings, humorously titled and somewhat dream-like are brilliantly eye catching, drawing the viewer to the back of the gallery. 

A large painterly canvas depicts St Micheal's Mount in vibrant yellows, blues and pinks engulfed in an inky black surround, whilst the beautiful Cornish coastline painted in 'The Peregrine'  is background to a large outline of a Falcon. Ruth combines her great skill as a landscape painter with a vivid palette and unusual narrative, resulting in works that always demand a second look.


A close view of Sam Houston's detailed oil paintings.

Sam Houston's mysterious and ethereal paintings and prints have gained much attention. His unusual figures fade into earthy landscapes and ghostly buildings that are scarcely visible. Sam's palette is rich in tone and colour, influenced by his time as a student in Cornwall, with deep greens and rust reds. Suggestions of lost and clouded memories run throughout Sam's collection in layers of familiarity and intrigue and displaying his skill as both a painter and printmaker.


Rebekah Lockley's unique and topical ceramics placed infront of Sam Houston's work.
A detail of Rebekah Lockley's decorative sgraffito technique.
Rebekah Lockely's red earthenware sit before Sam's paintings. Rich cream glazes combined with matte earthenware provide the base for highly detailed illustrations exploring the topic of the UK's dairy industry.

Rebekah's contemporary political explorations add a narrative element to her ceramics and are created using the traditional Sgraffito technique; a decorative technique popular during the Italian Renaissance amongst experts such as Caravaggio and Raphael. Rebekah's interesting juxtaposition of old technique and current politics creates completely unique works that are worthy of the position of the sole ceramicist within our show.


Olivia Jones' work hung beside Sam Houston's
Olivia Jones' three 'St Ives Collage' works, graphite on board.

Olivia Jones' delicate graphite collages of St Ives sit to the right of the gallery's back wall.
Wonderfully intricate, Olivia has produced three drawings combining recognisable and well loved landmarks of St Ives such as the RNLI Lifeboat Station, the Tate St Ives and Smeatons Pier. These sit between two powerful, large works, displaying the unique process of laser cutting which Olivia fuses with her traditional draughtswoman skill to etch fine channels into the artworks.


 Charlotte Keates' work (left) alongside Mimi Robson's (right)

Charlotte Keates' collection of paintings on display.

Charlotte Keates' collection of work, explores a combination of both interior and exterior. Charlotte's specific concoction of Rabbit Skin Glue and French Chalk is worked onto board creating a mottled effect as a base to detailed interiors with fifties touches and clusters of birch trees. The blurred lines between 'inside and out' and stylish architecture combined with unusual and unique composition make Charlotte's work incredibly striking, with subtle references to Hockney and Freud.


A detail of Emily Goodaker's silver jewellery, showing a cast of the 'Carn Brae Coin'.

Emily Goodaker's work is displayed on bespoke stone plates.

The jewellery of designer and maker, Emily Goodaker, has a strong affinity with Cornwall. Named the 'Carn Brae Collection', the display, which includes earings, bangles and necklaces, incorporates the recurring motif of the 'Carn Brae Coin'. The gold slater coin, believed to be dated 54 BC, was found in Carn Brae, Cornwall, in 1749 and is held at The Royal Cornwall Museum.

Having gained unique access to the Museum's archive, Emily has been able to cast this ancient relic and fuse it with her contemporary hand-made jewellery.

With each cast being reshaped, every bespoke piece is cast in silver at the Royal College of Art where Emily is currently studying for a Masters in Goldsmithing and Silversmithing.
The strong narrative in the 'Carn Brae Collection' makes for an impressive display yet, equally, each individual and very wearable piece demands much attention, the intricate detail making them a delight to wear.


A detail of 'What is the Moonlight For?', etching by Mimi Robson.

Mimi's work hung above the work of ceramicist Tim Andrews. (image courtesy of Matt Caldaralo)

Mimi Robson's love of the sea resonates within her incredibly skilled body of print-work.
The collection of mono-prints and etchings in gradients of turquoise and teal reflect the churning force of tide and wave with Mimi's experience as a surfer proving an integral inspiration. A strong presence of black within the work adds strength and confidence to the otherwise pale and delicate tones, reflecting the power of the sea as well as beauty.


Izzy Adams' work displayed above the ceramic work of local artist, Tim Lake.

Izzy's prints reflect the shapes found in traditional ceramic work..

Again the sea proves a strong influence, as to Mimi, in my work. Since the beginning of my time in Cornwall three and a half years ago, the coast of Cornwall has been constant impetus for my artwork, this inspiration is reinstated daily as I watch it, ever changing, from my desk at the Porthminster Gallery.
In this collection of prints I have focused in particular on the dense, heavy mist which so often hangs over the sea by the coast. I have emulated the grey-blues which shroud the horizon in printing inks, working with varying consistencies to produce degrees of transparency.

I have printed on a specific Japanese paper which has a unique fibrous quality, soaking up the ink which is able to stain and seep into the surface. The paper is printed on both sides, the shadow of the print on the reverse is subtle and barely visible, again influenced by the way mist distorts visibility, smudging all recognisable landmarks.
My time working at Porthminster Gallery has reignited my admiration of ceramic work, inspiring me to explore traditional ceramic forms within my prints, giving a contrast to the two 'Open Ocean' works which reflect the endlessness of the ocean, and encasing the prints within the shapes of Chinese tea caddies and French JardiniƩre pots.

From left: Ruth Naylor, Sam Houston and Rebekah Lockley's display.

This exhibition has been fantastic to be involved in, both as a participating artist and as a member of the gallery team.
Supporting graduates at the very beginning of their career has proven to be a great success at Porthminster Gallery over the past seven years; this year's strong, diverse group of artists have reestablished the exhibition as an important fixture on St Ives' Arts calendar, an exhibition not to be missed.


An Evening of 'New Beginnings'

Friday 7th February saw Porthminster Gallery host the private view for the New Beginnings show. Despite the weather, many came out to enjoy and admire the diverse, new collection of work and to celebrate with the artists the opening of this much anticipated show:

Visitors admire Ruth Naylor's humorous and bright canvases.
Artist Olivia Jones viewing the work of Sam Houston and Rebekah Lockley.
Emily Goodaker's handmade silver jewellery is displayed infront of the printwork of Mimi Robson.
Artist and gallery assistant Izzy Adams talks to artist Gary Long about the work of Olivia Jones.

All private view images courtesy of Matt Caldaralo

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