Installation: Sven Berlin – Drawings from The Dark Monarch

Please enjoy these informal installation shots of our exhibition of 27 of the 32 drawings made for The Dark Monarch by Sven Berlin. Executed c.1955, these drawings were used as illustrations for his notorious roman-à-clef The Dark Monarch in 1962. The work was a thinly-disguised and irreverent portrait of St Ives, its artists, and others who lived and worked in the town. Among the loosely disguised cast of artistic characters were W. Barns-Graham, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Bernard Leach, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron, Bryan Wynter and many others. The novel was withdrawn soon after publication, when legal action was taken by four of the local ‘characters’ in the book. This is the first time that the original drawings made for the novel have been exhibited.

You can view the individual works in the exhibition by following this link to the gallery website.

Alice Mumford / Composite Shadows / Installation

Our Alice Mumford exhibition opened with a very lively Private View on Saturday evening, and the show has been visited and enjoyed by many visitors since we opened the doors on Monday. The exhibition runs until 7 Oct and coincides with the St Ives September Festival. We hope you enjoy the installation shots above, you can also view individual works on the gallery website here.

Part Earth Part Flower is Installed

Painting with Plants and Porcelain, How the Exhibition will Evolve through September and October

Autumn brings rapid change to plant life; some plants coming into their ‘best’ with late flowering blooms, others dying back to nourish the earth for future generations or drying out to form seeds for next years’ plants. The display in the gallery reflects this process of change and variety in the surrounding landscape of the here and now. Materials gathered from local gardens reflect the season, our environment, and celebrate the beauty and bounty of what surrounds us. Throughout the course of the exhibition, rather than refresh the whole display, Polly will intermittently replace only some stems, leaving others to die back or dry out.

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Photograph: Andy Hughes

The unstable nature of things can bring much joy – there is magic in the handmade. Rebecca’s pots bear traces of her manipulation of the material and refer to it in its soft state. Connections between people and materials across time and place are present in the objects, and the evolving nature of the flower displays in this exhibition reflects that. Perhaps the display will be become more dominated by dried or deteriorating flowers as time goes on, perhaps some areas will get fuller and others sparser, but this will depend on – and be influenced by – how the materials in the gallery and the gardens are behaving, much like the processes involved in gardening a garden or making a pot.

Rebecca’s pots invite the user to engage with the moment; the beauty of the objects are emphasised through their ability to reflect and absorb the changing atmosphere around them, porcelain enjoying a unique relationship with light especially. Their seemingly simple beauty can be brought to life through the introduction of plant material, however it is chosen or placed. An interaction is sparked between the two objects, facilitating the viewer to more easily observe and enjoy the simple beauty and subtle nuance in both.

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Photograph: Andy Hughes

The interaction that the pots invite through use is one of ease and joy. Collections of small vases enable single stems to be chosen, placed and valued in and of themselves, but with associations between each other enabled, as with planting in a garden. Vases with indentations invite a looseness to placing the stems, an invitation to enjoy the informality of letting it be where it falls, and form the presence of a continued line where the stem meets the rim. Where flowers rest on the of edges pf vessels, there is further opportunity to enjoy the interaction between the porcelain and plant material. This continues as the plant material deteriorates. In the case of the works with the porcelain trays, the falling petals, pollen or seed are captured and become part of the display. These behaviours of the plant are not only beautiful to watch but remind us of the interconnection between plant and the earth; one cannot be without the other.

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Photograph: Andy Hughes

Zen Buddhism encourages us to ‘see the flower in the earth and the earth in the flower’, as Virginia Woolf did in her revelation in the garden at Talland House, where she spent formative childhood summers in St Ives, and one of the gardens Polly tends. Another Buddhist saying: ‘no mud, no lotus’, describes the necessary inter-connectedness of earth and flower, reminding us of the role of imperfection and non judgement, things are as they are because of each other, although we may describe one thing as good and another bad.

“That is the whole… I was looking at a plant with a spread of leaves: and it seemed suddenly plain that the flower itself was part of the earth, that a ring enclosed what was the flower; and that was the real flower; part earth; part flower. “

Virginia Woolf, A Sketch of the Past, 1939

Polly Carter, 2019

Gallery installation images to follow 

ALICE MUMFORD Composite Shadows

PRESS RELEASE

16 Sept – 7 Oct 2019, Belgrave St Ives
Private View Sat 14 Sept 6 – 8pm

“The passing of time is explored by Alice Mumford in a new body of work that looks at the painting and history of the shadow. Ambiguous time, elongated time and the spatial elements of time are explored in these paintings.”

ALICE MUMFORD - COMPOSITE SHADOWS 31st July 2019 New One-Person Exhibition: ALICE MUMFORD Composite Shadows 16 Sept – 7 Oct 2019, Belgrave St Ives Private View Sat 14 Sept 6 – 8pm “The passing of time is explored by Alice Mumford in a new body of work that looks at the painting and history of the shadow. Ambiguous time, elongated time and the spatial elements of time are explored in these paintings”. Belgrave St Ives is pleased to announce an exhibition by the painter Alice Mumford. In her previous exhibition, Mumford asked the viewer to study and celebrate with her the importance of colour and how it can be used to picture the everyday ordinariness of life but also its wonder. This time she is asking us to look at the passing of time that is present in a painting by offering a series of still-life and landscape works that play with shadow planes through the study of open windows, roof tops, laden tables and Cornish sea-scapes. In one of her painting courses (she is regarded highly as a teacher of painting), one of her students asked her, “What time of the day do you think Bonnard painted this?” Alice and other people in the group couldn’t decide. Alice then reflected ‘Bonnard makes composite shadows like a composite character in a book. These paintings are not made from one moment but from a whole day or time, from being in a place.’ She has worked towards the exhibition with this reflection as a focus. Mumford is a painter who is entirely committed to her craft. Following training at Dartington, Camberwell, Southwark and Falmouth Colleges of Art, she has become one of the most accomplished painters currently working in Cornwall. After early successes with Cobra & Bellamy, Julian Lax and Badcocks Gallery, Mumford has been represented by Belgrave St Ives since 2005, during which time she has established herself as a pre-eminent painter of still life interiors that draw heavily on her own domestic life. Sansom & Co published a first monograph of her work in 2015. (Copies are available at the gallery.) A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with a forward by the artist. A special event to accompany the exhibition will be held Friday 27 September at Borlase Smart Room, Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. The artist will be in conversation with Dr Ian Massey, discussing the history of shadows and what composite shadows are. #ArtStives #CompositeShadows @belgravestives PHOTO CAPTIONS Cider and Melon Pieces on a Hot June Day Oil on canvas; 61 x 76 cms The Sea View, Summer Afternoon Light, Perranuthnoe Oil on canvas; 100 x 100 cms Alice Mumford’s Studio NOTES TO EDITORS For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow: Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE richard@belgravestives.co.uk tel. 01736 794888 ENDS

The Sea View, Summer Afternoon Light, Perranuthnoe
Oil on canvas; 100 x 100 cms

Belgrave St Ives is pleased to announce an exhibition by the painter Alice Mumford. In her previous exhibition, Mumford asked the viewer to study and celebrate with her the importance of colour and how it can be used to picture the everyday ordinariness of life but also its wonder. This time she is asking us to look at the passing of time that is present in a painting by offering a series of still-life and landscape works that play with shadow planes through the study of open windows, roof tops, laden tables and Cornish sea-scapes. In one of her painting courses (she is regarded highly as a teacher of painting), one of her students asked her, “What time of the day do you think Bonnard painted this?” Alice and other people in the group couldn’t decide. Alice then reflected ‘Bonnard makes composite shadows like a composite character in a book. These paintings are not made from one moment but from a whole day or time, from being in a place.’ She has worked towards the exhibition with this reflection as a focus.

Alice Mumford - Composite Shadow, new body of work at Belgrave St Ives 2019

Alice Mumford’s studio during her work towards Composite Shadows

Mumford is a painter who is entirely committed to her craft. Following training at Dartington, Camberwell, Southwark and Falmouth Colleges of Art, she has become one of the most accomplished painters currently working in Cornwall. After early successes with Cobra & Bellamy, Julian Lax and Badcocks Gallery, Mumford has been represented by Belgrave St Ives since 2005, during which time she has established herself as a pre-eminent painter of still life interiors that draw heavily on her own domestic life. Sansom & Co published a first monograph of her work in 2015. (Copies are available at the gallery.)

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with a forward by the artist.

A special event to accompany the exhibition will be held Friday 27 September at Borlase Smart Room, Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. The artist will be in conversation with Dr Ian Massey, discussing the history of shadows and what composite shadows are.

#ArtStives #CompositeShadows @belgravestives

Alice Mumford's work towards studying, exhibiting and lecturing for her exhibition called Composite Shadows at Belgrave St Ives

Cider and Melon Pieces on a Hot June Day
Oil on canvas; 61 x 76 cms

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE

richard@belgravestives.co.uk    tel. 01736 794888

 

ENDS

Part Earth: Part Flower; Painting with Plants and Porcelain

PRESS RELEASE: New Ceramic and Plant Exhibition:

REBECCA HARVEY AND POLLY CARTER
Part Earth: Part Flower; Painting with Plants and Porcelain
16 Sept – 7 Oct 2019, Belgrave St Ives
Private View Sat 14 Sept 6 – 8pm

Part Earth: Part Flower; Painting with Plants and Porcelain is an exhibition by ceramicist Rebecca Harvey and heritage horticulturalist Polly Carter. It explores the interconnectedness between earth and flower in the vein of Zen philosophy.

On entering the gallery during the St Ives September Festival, a series of especially made new porcelain works by Rebecca Harvey will greet you. Part of a site-specific installation of vessels, displayed with flowers by Polly Carter, these small vessels arranged on dishes will become interchangeable.

Part Earth, Part Flower, Rebecca Harvey and Polly Carter
Work towards Part Earth: Part Flower

It was a quote by Virginia Woolf that drew Harvey and Carter truly together. It is based around a formative experience that occurred in the garden of Talland House in St Ives where Woolf and her painter sister Vanessa Bell spent her childhood summers. Looking at a flower in a border in the garden she remembers thinking:

“That is the whole…. I was looking at a plant with a spread of leaves: and it seemed suddenly plain that the flower itself was part of the earth, that a ring enclosed what was the flower; and that was the real flower; part earth; part flower. “

During this summer Harvey has collaborated with St Ives based gardener Polly Carter to bring this exhibition to fruition. They have worked together to incur a deeper connection between the vessels and their intended or suggested use, which is that of displaying flowers. The collaboration extends to a creative and experimental approach to the display of the work; the relationship between the vessels and flowers and how visitors experience the gallery space has been considered using a Zen like approach.

Part Earth, Part Flower, Rebecca Harvey and Polly CarterWhilst Carter has been growing the plants used in the exhibition during the summer and autumn, Harvey has been ‘kinking’ the rim of her vessels by hand, creating offerings for stems to fall naturally in place without too much effort or thought and so each material connects. In addition she has been creating glazes, and with Carter, investigating plants and glazes so the viewer will have their senses stimulated.

Part Earth Part Flower, Rebecca Harvey and Polly Carter

Rebecca Harvey studied at the Royal College of Art. Her pottery has evolved from her interest in 18th century Creamware and Japanese ceramics. A warm, soft satin glaze envelops the calm but strong forms in a smooth, rich, tactile surface. She was honoured by a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust in 2005 and is a dedicated teacher. She is also known for her publications on glazes and ceramic tableware. Her work can be found in both public and private collections.

rebecca_harvey_belgrave_stives_exhibition

Polly Carter has a background in curating contemporary art exhibitions and re-trained in heritage horticulture when moving to Cornwall from Brighton in 2013. She has planted a Tudor knot garden and Medieval herb garden at Pengersick Castle in Praa Sands, is currently renovating the garden at Talland House in St Ives and is the kitchen gardener for Porthminster Café St Ives. She also passionately gardens a few secret and special gardens in the famous town.

rebecca_harvey_4

#ArtStives #PartearthPartflower @belgravestives

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE

richard@belgravestives.co.uk tel. 01736 794888

ENDS

On our Cornish Peninsula a unique exhibition, ‘A Distant Isle’, closes. It hails from Lanzarote.

We are sitting in the heat of the day, by the doorway of our gallery, enjoying the last hours of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham exhibition which we have held in conjunction with the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust. Visitors are diving in to catch it too. Here’s a corner for you to enjoy with an extract from the essay that accompanies the catalogue.

A Distant Isle installation photograph by Andy Hughes. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

A Distant Isle installation
Photograph by Andy Hughes
Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust
Left to right:

W. Barns-Graham 'Maquez' Acrylic on paper; 38 x 56.5 cms
John Milne 'Resurgence' Bronze; 45.5 (H) cms
W. Barns-Graham [Red Chasm] Gouache on paper; 56 x 75.5 cms
John Milne 'Poseidon (JM95)' Cold cast aluminium; 68.5 (H) cms (incl.base)
W. Barns-Graham 'Lanzarote, nr. Tias' Pastel on paper; 49 x 69 cms

A Distant Isle, Belgrave St Ives 2019. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

A Distant Isle, Belgrave St Ives 2019. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

A Distant Isle, Belgrave St Ives 2019. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

The green doors of  the above picture, ‘Lanzarote, nr. Tias’, state that this home belongs to a farming community. In the image below, ‘Salt Pans No.7’, blue doors mark a fishing community’s home.

A Distant Isle, Belgrave St Ives 2019. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham TrustW. Barns-Graham ‘Salt Pans No.7’ Acrylic on card; 20 x 25 cms. Provenance: The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust

The full exhibition is available here to view and there is a fully illustrated catalogue available for £10 (includes package and postage).

Extract from the catalogue introduction by Geoffrey Bertram April 2019

The exhibition marks the thirtieth anniversary of Wilhelmina (Willie) Barns-Graham’s first visit to the island of Lanzarote, in February 1989. She had been invited by a friend with whom she stayed, the villa situated on the east coast north of Arrecife, Lanzarote’s main town. Willie needed the break; she was exhausted. During the latter months of 1988 she had been working on an exhibition of new paintings for the Scottish Gallery in London, and on a major retrospective that was to open at Newlyn Art Gallery in June. It was thought she would benefit from the warmer, drier climate, on which she concurred, noting in her diary that Lanzarote was “very health giving – no aches and pains worth mentioning”. The visit was a huge success, leading to her making four further visits, the last in 1993.

Anyone who has been to Lanzarote appreciates what an extraordinary place it is. The island is dominated by the substantial volcanic activity, the last eruptions being very recent in geological terms. Well-documented eruptions took place in the Timanfaya area between 1730 and 1736, when lava and ash covered around two-thirds of the island and buried many villages and fertile agricultural land in the process. It is thought that over thirty volcanoes spewed forth at this time. A century later, in 1824, there was a further eruption in the same area.

Willie marvelled at the black rock formations and strange conic hills. One of the main roads wends its way up the centre of the island curving through the La Geria region, “…magnificent. Plenty of subjects + v. difficult” (see La Geria, Lanzarote, page 33). This is a route to Timanfaya, the area of Montagna del Fuego (mountain of fire); she notes “…on right hand side the lonely black mountain with red pink abstract lines and shapes…” (see Timanfaya Mt Fuego, page 7). On her third trip she writes “we set off for La Geria where I meant to look out some fields always inspired me for abstract but light was wrong + began pencil drawing on white paper of hill + some volcanic shelf shapes foreground”. Her only complaint of La Geria was the wind; “wind awful”– “always windy” which could make it difficult to work, on occasion further complicated by the intense heat and brightness.