The Hepworth Room, Jeffrey Harris and Friends

Running concurrently with our exhibitions of Harris’s work, firstly at The Crypt, and now at our Studio in Towednack, the Penwith Gallery is showing an exhibition of work by Jeffrey Harris and Friends.

The show includes a stunning pair of works by Harris and his wife, the Tasmanian artist Gwen Leitch from 1960 and 1958 respectively (illustrated below). The paintings were made in their shared No. 7 Porthmeor Studio.

The Hepworth Room, left to right: Jeff Harris Black, White & Ochre (Private collection) Gwen Leitch Black Soil (Penwith Archive) Paul Mount The Nest (Penwith Archive) and Wilhelmina Barns Graham St Ives from Island (Belgrave St Ives)
Gwen Leitch Black Soil 1958 (Penwith Archive)

Gwen Leitch was born in Tasmania. Due to a scholarship she attended the Central School of Arts and Craft in London from 1954 to 1956. She was taught by Patrick Heron and Roger Hilton and was encouraged by Heron to move to St Ives. In 1956 she lived with Delia and Patrick Heron at ‘Eagles Nest’, where she had a small studio space. In 1957 she was the second woman to be awarded a Porthmeor Beach Studio, which she retained until leaving the UK in 1970. In 1959 Jeffrey Harris and her married and shared the studio.

Photographs of No. 7 Porthmeor Studio exhibited at the Hepworth Room courtesy of the Penwith Archive. Gwen Leitch talking with artist Tony O’Malley who was a great family friend. / Jeffrey Harris painting in the studio. / Gwen taking a break in the studio. / Gwen in discussion with Ann Cummings.

Alongside photographs, letters and an exhibition catalogue held by the Penwith Gallery Archive, are works on loan from the gallery and works from the Penwith Archive’s collection. The images below capture highlights.

Photographs of the Hepworth Room: Terry Frost A Book of Ideas – Page 77 1976, Jeffrey Harris Red Squares 1969. / Barbara Hepworth’s Magic Stone with Patrick Heron’s Six in Vermillion with Violet in Red : April 1970 in the background. / Jason Lilley, Claire Harris (Jeffrey’s daughter) and guest reviewing the archive material. Artworks showing, from left to right, Jeffrey Harris Blue Still Life 1974 and Red Still Life with a Circle 1973 and on the back wall, Gwyther Irwin’s Hundred Series No.34 1971. / Flowers in the foreground, highlight a Hepworth sculpture and behind it hangs the Patrick Heron’s Six in Vermillion with Violet in Red : April 1970 and Breon O’Casey’s Blue Squares 2001.

Patrick Heron was a great supporter of Jeffrey and Gwen. He was very generous to both of them when they were establishing themselves as young artists in St Ives. Jeffrey says the following:

“Gwen was Nanny to their children at Eagles Nest (his wife Delia was lovely) – Patrick had taught Gwen at Central School and from there offered her work and somewhere to paint at Eagles Nest. It was through Patrick’s support that Gwen was awarded Porthmeor studio. She and me later shared the studio. After Gwen and I were married/living together we continued to visit Eagles Nest and Patrick would share time and knowledge of painting particularly use of colour with us both. Patrick helped me get the job at Falmouth Art School were I worked 3 days a week for 3 years from the mid 60’s. Michael Finn was head of the school and also very generous to us.” July 2022, recorded by Jeffrey Harris’ son, Chris.

Patrick Heron’s Six in Vermillion with Violet in Red : April 1970 (on loan from the gallery and for sale)

Above is Penwith Gallery committee’s letter to the members in November 1965 with reference to Jeffrey becoming a full member again and the rule changed to make it happen, and Jeffrey earning the hanging committee job straight away. This in itself is a wonderful piece of history. We can see artists like Breon O’Casey on the hanging committee. Breon had a jewellery studio near the Penwith at one point and Jeffrey and Gwen visited him and is wife Doreen at Paul on one of their visits from Australia (after they had emigrated).

The Hepworth Room is a space to display the historical material of the Penwith Gallery Archive. The archive is currently being catalogued by artist Jason Lilley and his wife Julia. The Jeffrey Harris and Friends exhibition, due to its popularity has been extended to the end of July. A catalogue essay accompanying the exhibition at Belgrave St Ives called JEFFREY HARRIS – Paintings and Prints from Cornwall and Australia, 1968 – 2022 has been written by Tony Magnusson – Peter Davies has also written for the catalogue.

Jessica Cooper & Sarah Woods – Artist notes, Portraits & Gallery Tour

Today the gallery has opened two exhibitions:

Jessica Cooper ‘Reflecting Images‘ &
Sarah Woods ‘The Edge of the Land

4 – 20 May online only, view catalogues on ISSUU @

Jessica Cooper. Cornish Artist. Contemporary Artist.
Jessica Cooper in her studio

Cooper The paintings in this exhibition are informed by three specific places and periods of time. A number of the works are executed on canvas –a support and surface with which I am familiar –representing safety, in a certain sense. The others employ wood panels –something of a voyage into the unknown –leading to experimentation and the highlighting of a certain abstraction in the work. These latter works are left unframed, imbuing them with a sense of freedom, breathing space and a lack of restriction. These important qualities are echoed thematically in the subject matter of some of the paintings.The abstracted trapezoid shape that appears in a number of the works originates in a section of a bridge/walkway leading to a beach on the Los Angeles coast. Like the bridge, the shape represents a link, and can thus be found reappearing in paintings regardless of the particular subject. Other objects or shapes in the works have become more isolated, in one sense, or perhaps connected by the space between them, in another. My usual colour palette has shifted to become more limited and muted, with subtle tones and the exploration of different shades, in particular yellows, pinks and browns, which are broadly new to me.Using drawings, photographs and memories, these works have taken a longer time to execute than formerly, using thought, reflection and the re-reading of contemporaneous notes to take myself back to specific times and places, and then using the resulting feelings to create a new sense of purpose and calmness in the work; perhaps an authority, even.

Jessica Cooper. Paintings on canvas and woodpanel. Los Angeles. Cornwall. Belgrave St Ives.

Sarah Woods in Cornish Studio. Painter and printmaker. Belgrave St Ives. Contemporary Art.
Sarah Woods in her studio.

Woods I find most of my inspiration in the simple forms of the coastline surrounding the studio, often towards Zennor and to the North Cliffs of Cornwall. There’s a feeling of openness when you reach the coast that brings balance and calm. The rhythm of the landscape can restore and influence us, as well as bring a focus to the way we work within the environment.This collection of paintings and prints brings attention to the process of making, the method of mark making, and the act of repeating a single movement to represent minimal and balanced observations. The paintings focus on the simple notion of repeating a single mark. Every element is worked by hand, and each piece features a sewn line between the canvas, often suggesting the landscape in the form of a diptych. As each tone is layered, I visualise the landscape in areas of light and dark, similar to the method of mark making in my drawings and prints. The lines of an etching signify something meditative in the landscape. A methodical process of observing and drawing the coast, reflecting the balance that being beside the water brings. The motion of the water seems to echo the methodical lines of my drawings with focus on movement, feeling and repetition. Something structured but also intuitive is reflected in the process of working on a print. Each print begins with a sketchbook drawing that is slowly worked into an etching, and printed to a limited edition in the studio. When working with a plate my practice of printmaking focuses on the movement of ink and the direction of hand-drawn lines, becoming familiar with the marks that are unique to each piece.

Sarah Woods. Prints and Paintings. Belgrave St Ives..

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You can tour the exhibitions in our 3D virtual gallery space. This gives you a great way to visit Gallery 1 on the fly! It will also help you see the work in context, as the work is framed and sized. Click here and make a cuppa while it loads and then you can take your time and explore.  And don’t forget you can find full details of the exhibitions on the front page of our website too.



30 Mar – 20 Apr 2020, Belgrave St Ives

The largest exhibition to date by the gallery sees over 100 works by 50 artists associated with St Ives Modernism. It brings together key figures like W Barns-Graham, Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson with lesser known names such as John Barnicoat, Bob Bourne, Jeffrey Harris and Inez Hoyton.

Hilton_Untitled_Chickens_1973_SmRoger Hilton Untitled (Chickens) Gouache and charcoal; 38.5 x 56 cms

It is 22 years since the Belgrave Gallery (established London 1974) opened a second gallery in St Ives to specialize in showing the work of artists associated with Cornwall from 1930s to the present day. Following the inaugural exhibition in 1999 ‘St Ives – The Modern Movement’ the gallery has presented an annual exhibition of accessible paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture by the leading artists of this period shown alongside less well known but interesting artists working at the same time.

This annual exhibition, usually held in the Spring, has gained something of a reputation among art collectors interested in St Ives Modernist Art, making it an important port of call whether visiting Cornwall or through the comprehensive printed exhibition catalogue and gallery website.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Underwater Movement Pen, ink and wash; 19.5 x 26.5 cms

Artists included: John Barnicoat, W. Barns-Graham, Max Barrett, Trevor Bell, Anthony Benjamin, Sandra Blow, Bob Bourne Charles Breaker, Max Chapman, Tom Cross, Bob Crossley, Alan Davie, Michael Finn, Clifford Fishwick, Terry Frost, Jeffrey Harris, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Inez Hoyton, Bryan Ingham, Peter Lanyon, Jeremy Le Grice, Bernard Leach, Janet Leach, Padraig Mac Miadhachain, Margo Maeckelberghe, Margaret Mellis, John Milne, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson, Kate Nicholson, Simon Nicholson, Harry Ousey, John Anthony Park, Victor Pasmore, Bryan Pearce, Douglas Portway, William Scott, Michael Snow, Troika Pottery, Doris Vaughan, John Wells, Karl Weschke and Guy Worsdell

The show will be held in all gallery exhibition spaces. A fully illustrated colour catalogue is available. Higher resolution images are available for print.

#StivesModernism @belgravestives

Jeffrey Harris Dalesman Oil and pencil on Masonite; 29 x 32 cms


For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

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

Hoyton_SurfOnACornishBeach_SmInez Hoyton Surf on a Cornish Beach Oil on board; 41 x 51 cms



Belgrave @ British Art Fair


20 – 23 Sept 2018

The British Art Fair has just opened at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY. Please  do come and see us on the Second Floor, Stands 36 & 38, (illustrated above) if you can.

As well as the extraordinary sculpture Two Forms in Echelon 1961 by Barbara Hepworth, you will also find works by Robert Adams, W. Barns-Graham, Sven Berlin, Sandra Blow, Paul Feiler, Terry Frost, Patrick Hayman, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson, Kate Nicholson, Bryan Pearce, Brian Rice, William Scott, John Wells and others.

You can view a selection of the works on our website here, but the show is much better experienced by a visit. Please contact the gallery if you would like a complimentary eVitation.

Camberwell in St Ives

A snippet of the visitors at the

40 Years of Painting, Camberwell Students and Teachers, 1945 – 1985

There was too much happening to capture everyone but the below at the beginning and end of the night, hints at the wonderful Private View evening we had, and that many travelled from afar. Thank you to everyone for helping this to happen. (St Ives Society of Artists have more photographs.)

Jason Lilley – ‘For Jumbo’

Jason Lilley 'For Jumbo' 2010
Jason Lilley 'For Jumbo' 2010

‘For Jumbo’  to help put the Jumbo back on track

Stunned by news of the recent theft of their trailer, Cornish artist Jason Lilley has presented the St.Ives Jumbo Association with ‘For Jumbo’- a monumental work (5’8″ x 3′ 1″) which he produced specifically to “help put them back on track”. He added “The incomprehensible act of stealing from a charity must not be allowed to detract from their long term ideals.”

“The ideals of our Association, which include the emphasis we place on ‘community’ rather than ‘tourism’, clearly strike a chord with Jason and many of his colleagues.” said spokesman, Jonny Nance.  ‘We are immensely grateful and hugely encouraged by Jason’s extraordinary act of creative generosity.”

‘For Jumbo’ will go on sale for £2500 shortly at The Belgrave Gallery, St.Ives to coincide with the September Festival. The gallery has also offered to donate part of their commission.

Further information available on the gallery website here

Salmagundi – Behind The Scenes

Work is continuing apace to hang both the Salmagundi Mixed Exhibition in Gallery One and the John Wells Works On Paper show in Gallery Two. I just thought I’d share some behind the scenes images of work-in-progress with you…

The show is going to look great when we’ve finished…a really lively assortment of strong work by our Contemporaries, interspersed with a few Modern British works. You can see an image by each of the exhibiting artists here. The John Wells Show, which is all online here, is starting to hit the walls…more of that anon.