PRESS RELEASE – Jessica Cooper & Sarah Woods – About their exhibitions at Belgrave

4th MAY 2020
JESSICA COOPER Reflecting Images
SARAH WOODS The Edge of the Land
4 – 30 May 2020, Belgrave St Ives

Jessica Copper and Sarah Woods have created a body of work that can perhaps help us a little in this period of isolation. Their paintings and drawings hold unique lines, rhythms and meditative qualities and offer us that intangible beguiling quality that one seeks from being near to the coast.

Spring is arguably the most beautiful season in Cornwall. The cliffs and hinterland are full of colour from the abundant flora, and the extra lines of light that gravitate towards you, from the sunny hue of the water’s edge or through the interior space of a window, are unparalleled. However, this spring more of us can’t see coastal views and dreamy interiors, we just have to remember, reimagine or carry on dreaming them. Cooper and Woods’ work is restorative; they produce a sensitive quality of line, deal with the moods of coastal landscapes and seek a meditative or at least a reflective response to each piece of work they create. They help us reconfigure.

Sarah Woods Across the North Cliffs 2019
Acrylic on hand-sewn canvas; (diptych) Each canvas 101.5 x 101.5 cms

Cooper, a respected and well-known painter due to her paired back style and dedication, has looked back on her practice to create a new body of work for this show. She has studied the landscape and the still-life images she has created in the past, which has specifically brought her to look at three places and three periods of time. The first circulates around imagery from Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, the second is a counter space to this cliff and beach space, a frenetic Los Angles neighbourhood that she visits and works in, where the mid century interior is often present. The final space is the interior of her brother’s home in which a body of her work hangs. She explains ‘she realises there is a link to the LA interior and its materiality, and her childhood home with views to the sea’.

Jessica Cooper, Contemporary Painting, Belgrave St Ives, Cornwall
Jessica Cooper Air and Space and Knowing that I Love You 2020
Acrylic on canvas; 61 x 61 cms

Encompassing these spaces of time, Cooper gives you room to breath as you view coastline such as the famous chapel perched ceremonially above Porthmeor Beach. However, just when you might feel calm and comfortable and at home, she offers still life’s that are teetering on the edge of what seem hills or valleys or an abstracted void for you to start questioning or loose yourself in, but then there’s brush-marks, wood panelling and a palette of translucent colours that transport you to what might be light filled rooms, blossoming plants or breezy places to lie and rest.

Belgrave St Ives, Jessica Cooper, Painting, British, Art in isolation
Jessica Cooper (b.1967) Reflecting Images 2020
Acrylic and pen on canvas; 81 x 86.5 cms

Woods, like Cooper, focuses on time spent in the calmness of an ordered studio as much as in the landscape. However, whereas Cooper’s work encompasses the still life as well as the landscape and mixes those two genres at times together, Woods work manifests solely in the representation of landscapes through prints and paintings. As she paints she visualises the landscape in areas of light and dark, similar to the method of mark making in her prints. The canvas of each painting is hand stitched and stretched, and each tone is layered; the structure and process of the work, not just the subject, is balanced. She says the rhythm of the Cornish landscape can restore and influence as well as bring focus to the way she works within the environment.
Sarah Woods, Belgrave St Ives, St Agnes, Cornwall, Contemporary Art

Sarah Woods From Blue Hills, St. Agnes 2020. Edition of 35
Etching on Somerset Satin paper; 40 x 28 cms (plate) Sheet size: 50 x 35 cms

A painter and printmaker, Woods is working from an historic studio in Newlyn, Cornwall. Woods graduated from Falmouth University in 2016. Since then she has maintained a critical focus, honing her printmaking and painting skills through making and exhibiting. She finds most of her inspiration in the simple forms of the coastline surrounding the studio, often towards Zennor.

For most of her life, Cooper has lived and worked in West Penwith, Cornwall. This is her base though she travels widely, particularly to California. She draws inspiration from these coastal locations. She studied at Falmouth College of Art and Goldsmiths University of London graduating in 1989. Cooper is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, Penwith Society of Artists, and is an elected RWA. She has exhibited widely including at The Exchange, Penzance and Tate St. Ives.

#ArtStives #lockdownart @belgravestives

You can read more about their exhibitions and see a 3D virtual tour of their work here


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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