Part Earth: Part Flower; Painting with Plants and Porcelain

PRESS RELEASE: New Ceramic and Plant Exhibition:

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.


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.


#ArtStives #PartearthPartflower @belgravestives


For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE tel. 01736 794888


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