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.


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


Jessica Cooper, The Intimate Landscape


The Intimate Landscape Belgrave St Ives 8 – 29 October 2018

This October, Belgrave St Ives presents The Intimate Landscape, an exhibition of new paintings by artist Jessica Cooper RWA. This collection of works is inspired by two separate yet distinctly parallel landscapes – St Ives in the artist’s home county of Cornwall, and the village of Messanges in South West France – both of which have special meaning to the artist. Similar in their coastal beauty, with wide white sands, simple architecture and laid back coastal culture, the essence of these two villages are defined on canvas in Cooper’s distinctly reductive style. Created almost as a sketchbook collection of works, comprising large scale landscape paintings and a series of smaller works, they mark Cooper’s return to painting the landscape after two years of work in digital and mixed media projects in the UK and United States.

In addition, the artist has created a three-minute film of moving images which contextualises the collection. Entitled I Never Want To Lose Another Day, the film gives personal insight into Cooper’s relationship with St Ives and Messanges, and captures the peace and beauty of these unique Atlantic locations. The film will be on show in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

See The Intimate Landscape, from 8 to 29 October 2018 at Belgrave St Ives
22 Fore St, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE.



Jessica Cooper | Where It All started Again

Print ready 300pdi images for press use are available, please request. 


Editors Notes


Jessica Cooper RWA

Jessica Cooper has lived and worked in Cornwall’s West Penwith for most of her life. She studied at Falmouth College of Art, and at Goldsmith’s, University of London, and is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, Penwith Society of Artists, and is an elected RWA. She exhibits regionally, nationally and internationally on a regular basis, including exhibitions at The Exchange and Newlyn Art Gallery, the RWA and Tate St. Ives.


Belgrave St Ives

Belgrave St Ives specialises in Modern British and Contemporary Art. There is an emphasis on work by artists associated with Cornwall from the 1930s to the present time. The gallery is the only private art gallery in Cornwall showing regular exhibitions of work by major artists associated with the St Ives Modern Period as well as exhibitions of works by other select Modern British and Contemporary Artists. The gallery works with a number of artists, artists’ estates, collectors and other galleries, to produce an annual programme of changing monthly one-person and themed exhibitions usually accompanied by published material.


For further press information or additional images contact Mercedes at Fine Art Communications / Tel 07825 270235 /