An exhibition of paintings by 21 invited contemporary artists associated with Belgrave St Ives. Includes work by: Virginia Bounds, Jessica Cooper, Henrietta Dubrey, John Emanuel, Anthony Frost, Luke Frost, Jeffrey Harris, Bo Hilton, Liz Hough, Stuart Knowles, Ffiona Lewis, Jason Lilley, Mary Mabbutt, Felicity Mara, Jane Mac Miadhachain, Alice Mumford, Sarah Poland, Brian Rice, Graham Rich, Eric Ward and Jack Watson.

All paintings in the exhibition can be viewed on our website here:

Here are a number of shots of works installed at our studio and showing spaces just outside St Ives:

All paintings in the exhibition can be viewed on our website here:

Queer St Ives and Other Stories

Dr Ian Massey, who some of you will know from his work with gallery artist Alice Mumford, has written a new book, Queer St Ives and Other Stories. It will be published by Ridinghouse in early June.

You can purchase the book in many outlets including ACC Artbooks

While set within a broader context that refers to queer artists and writers active in Cornwall during the twentieth century (eg: Henry Scott Tuke, Gluck, DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf), the book’s main focus is on the years from the post-war 1940s to the late 1970s, a pivotal era in the development of St Ives modernism, and in changing social attitudes to homosexuality and the politics of liberation. It centres on the sculptor John Milne (1931-78) and his circle. Originally from the northwest of England, Milne lived in St Ives from 1952 until the end of his life. Working in the town initially as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth, with whom he established a lifelong friendship, he subsequently set up his own studio, becoming a member of The Penwith Society, and developing an international career, with shows in the UK, Europe and America. Situated behind what is now the Barbara Hepworth Museum, ‘Trewyn’, his home from 1956 onwards became the locus for often riotous parties, and served as a meeting place for many artists, art world figures and celebrities. Among them were the painters Francis Bacon, Helen Frankenthaler, Alan Lowndes, Patrick Procktor, Mark Tobey and Keith Vaughan, and Whitechapel Gallery director Bryan Robertson.

Contact sheet by Ida Kar, photographs of Milne in the garden at Trewyn, 1961.

Interweaving biography with art and social history, Ian’s book is the first ever queer history of St Ives. While set very largely in the town, the narrative shifts also to Manchester, London, Paris, Greece, New York and Morocco, hence the ‘other stories’ of the book’s title.

The two Sculptures above are by Milne and are in the current Belgrave St Ives exhibitions, St Ives and British Modernism 2022. Both are polished Bronzes. The Left one is called Trio II (wdition 7/9, 36cms), the right, Duo (edition 3/8, 38cms). 

Header image: Milne at The Penwith Gallery, c. 1963. Credit: The Penwith Gallery Archive.

Paintings for Spring – Instantly Alive

We launched spring at the gallery with Alice Mumford’s new solo exhibition ‘Paintings for Spring’. Despite lockdown we did it in style, inviting you into the gallery via Instagram Live. What a success that was! Over 100 of you came, and from at least five different countries.

Writer and curator Dr. Ian Massey (@ianmasseyart) hosted the event. Ian and the videographer were our eyes – they gave us a wonderful in-depth tour of the exhibition; zoning into detail and paint surfaces just at the right moments.

A recording of the event can be found here – you need an Instagram account to access it. (An account is very easy to set-up if you want to give it a go, and it’s free.)

We had a number of questions sent ahead that were nearly all answered. A few came in during and after the event, and Alice has been busy answering those. A number of you asked about the books on display at the gallery, particularly the one by Alice and Ian. Here are the details:

Alice Mumford – Colour from Coast to Coast

Book; 25.5 x 21 cms

80 pages + cover
Published by Sansom & Company
Introduction by Alice Mumford
Essay by Ian Massey
Richly illustrated throughout
Price shown does not include postage and packing
Please call gallery for details

Price: £20

A few of you asked about the whites Alice uses, here’s more detail:

Daler Rowney, Graduate; Daler Rowney, Georgian Titanium White
She says ‘I am yet to try Lukas, Titanium White’.

There are key anchor paintings in the exhibition, which Ian highlighted during the event. One that is important is Peeling Apples Together (about half way into the tour). The title of the painting jettisons us straight to Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘When all the others were away at Mass’ – we promised we’d send a link to the poem.

Ian asked the videographer to take us straight to the faces in the mirror found in the painting. (The use of the mirror as a device (bifurcation of space) is discussed during the event whilst landing on the painting Reflected Reading) He asks Alice about the faded faces, a recalled memory? Alice says yes. The flowers are sharp and take you into the faces to fond memories of peeling apples with her niece and in the more distant past, her mother. Hence the connection to the poem as well as the idea of reflection. Ian and Alice discuss the poem in greater detail. Ian talks about the profundity of Heaney; Alice about the playing of time in painting.

We are Heaney fans at the gallery. To have this painting threading ideas through the exhibition makes you look at all the paintings even closer and we are often standing in front of it. Below are graphics from the wonderful Seamus Heaney HomePlace reminding us why Heaney is one of the greatest poets in the world; he tugs at our memories and has helped us see how the everyday is extraordinary. We know even more now to cherish such lived moments, which is why Heaney has probably been breaking records during lockdown even though he is no longer with us.

‘A line from Heaney – a former Nobel laureate – has become an almost ubiquitous refrain on banners, airwaves and social media: “If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.”’ The Guardian, 17th May 2020.

Alice and Ian talked about the structure of painting a lot, particularly through the painting Pink, Vermillion 2020. It made us think about Heaney and poetry again. Here’s another graphic from Heaney’s HomePlace to dwell on before you look at the painting and listen to the recording. It’s the last painting discussed in the recording, so zoom forward to 45 minutes if you just want to focus on that. It’s really great to hear them articulate and move across the canvas.

'Anatomy of A Poem' wall graphic, captured at HomePlace by the gallery in 2017. 

From April 12th you can book in with us to view the exhibition. It covers three spaces in our new location at Higher Bussow Farm, Towednack, St Ives. The full exhibition can be viewed online here and an exhibition catalogue is available from the gallery. Email us

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.

TERRY FROST A Book of Ideas

New One-Person Exhibition:

TERRY FROST A Book of Ideas Paintings and Collages from the Artist’s Large Format Work Book. 19 June – 15 July 2017. Private View 17 June 6 – 8pm.

A rare opportunity to view a selection of work from the artist’s large format work/sketch book – never previously exhibited.

A Book of Ideas – Page 22, Acrylic; 46 x 37cm by Terry Frost

Following Terry Frost’s death in 2003, the studio contents were gradually relocated to a specially converted art store. Whilst archiving the artist’s collection some years later, a large format, cloth-bound sketchbook was discovered amongst the artist’s retained paintings and effects.

The richly illustrated volume contained over 50 paintings and collages. A number of these images were developed into known paintings or worked into recognisable print media editions, but some have remained as fascinating prototypes/imaginings of what might have been. Several of the artist’s favourite subjects are explored here, for example ‘Suspended Forms’, ‘Sun and Moon’ theme, the ‘Lorca’ series, etc. The book covers the period 1970s up to 1981.

We have selected a group of 32 individual works from the sketchbook to be mounted and framed for this exhibition. Mostly mixed media, all the works are a standard page size of 46 x 37cm single sheet and 46 x 74cm double sheet. The artworks have been reproduced for this exhibition catalogue in approximately the same sequence they appear in the original sketchbook, to follow the artist’s thought processes.

Sketchbook_Overview_smOver half the originals from the Book of Ideas are reproduced in an archival catalogue published to accompany the exhibition.

A Book of Ideas – Page 7, Collage, gouache and oil pastel; 46 x 37cm by Terry Frost

SIR TERRY FROST RA (1915 – 2003)

Frost was born in Leamington Spa within a working class family. He was encouraged to paint by the artist Adrian Heath, a fellow captive, whilst a Prisoner of War in Germany. Frost moved to St Ives in 1947 and formed part of the group of younger artists (including Sven Berlin, W Barns-Graham and Bryan Wynter) attracted to the place by the cheaper living costs, better climate/light than much of the UK and the other artists already established in the area – Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson etc.

Quickly gaining recognition amongst his peers, Frost was awarded the Gregory Fellowship at Leeds University (1952). Teaching at Leeds College of Art, he later became Professor of Painting at Reading University (a position he held until retiring from Teaching in 1981).

Frost exhibited extensively in the UK and Overseas in both one person and significant group exhibitions. He was one of a small number of British Artists at the time with an international reputation. He was elected Royal Academician in 1992 and Knighted for his services to Art and Art Education in 1998. His work is in major private and public collections worldwide including Tate Gallery, Arts Council and British Council. There is also an extensive bibliography for the artist.

Best know for his exuberant and colourful abstract paintings, collages and prints, Terry Frost shared his zest for art and life with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Portrait of Terry Frost in his Newlyn studio c.1999, courtesy of the Artist’s Estate


The gallery has a long association of working with the artist Terry Frost and subsequently with the Artist’s Estate. The artist’s first one-person show with the gallery was held in 1989.

The Belgrave Gallery was established in London in1974 and its sister gallery opened in St Ives in 1998, becoming independent as Belgrave St Ives in 2010. The gallery specialises in exhibiting Modern British and Contemporary Art with an emphasis on work produced in Cornwall.

Terry_Frost Book-09_sm.jpg
A Book of Ideas – Page 14/15, Gouache and graphite; 46 x 74cm by Terry Frost


For further information and images (and higher resolution), please contact Richard Blackborow: Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE tel. 01736 794888


Brian Rice – Paintings, Press and Preview

On March 4th 2017 we held Brian Rice’s private view, which included the artist signing his new book Brian Rice – Paintings 1952-2016. You can purchase this from us during the exhibition at a special price of £30. Through our installation shots you can peruse the front and back gallery, and to help context, there have been a number of publications about the exhibition including ‘Country Life’ and below ‘Resurgence & Ecologist’. You can view the full exhibition here. We will soon post images of Brian’s Prints in Gallery 2. Here’s a sneak of Brian at the Private View!  You can Find us on FB, Twitter and Instagram #belgravestives  as well as this blog.

Above left: Brian Rice, ‘Drawing No.6 (Yellowfield)’, Gouache and pastel on paper; 59 x 40.5 cms. Right: Brian Rice’s catalogues and books previously published.

resurgence_brian_riceAbove: ‘An Artist Renewed By Time, Earth and Place’ •  A profile of Brian Rice, ‘Resurgence & Ecologist‘ magazine, March/April 2017, No. 301 MANIFESTO FOR A GREEN MIND.

Belgrave Gallery -061
Brian Rice Paintings 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork


Celtic 1964, Oil on canvas; 69 x 69 cms.

Belgrave Gallery -007
Brian Rice Paintings from the Artist’s Archive 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork

Rice_WessesxLandscape_1982_LoResAbove: Brian Rice, Wessex Landscape 1982, Gouache on Bockingford paper; 58.5 x 76 cms.

Rice’s career trajectory has seen a working-class country boy going to the city and then returning to the country – very Thomas Hardy, very Jude the Obscure. In London, instead of fields and hedges, Rice was looking at street signs and advertisements, and for a time that suited him and his art. But the sustenance of such popular imagery – and its formal geometrical counterpart – was soon exhausted, and Rice had to look elsewhere to refresh the week-springs of his art. He re-encountered the countryside and began to explore it in greater depth. As chevrons now became the patterns of fields emerging through snow, so did his more heavily worked paintings express his new understanding. (‘What’s underneath became as important for me as what’s on the surface.’ he declared.)

Andrew Lambirth, November – December 2015, Extract from essay in Brian Rice Paintings 1952 – 2016.

Belgrave Gallery -019
Brian Rice Paintings from the Artist’s Archive 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork

brian_riceBrian Rice: The Creation of the Buddha of Time Passed, 1962, Oil on canvas; 121 x 91.5 cms.

WILHELMINA BARNS-GRAHAM – St Andrews and St Ives and Mrs Rogers

Below is a favourite diary entry by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham dated Oct 30th 1945. We have transcribed this with the permsission of the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust in light of the current exhibition we are holding (which ties in with the exhibition at Penlee House, Penzance 10 September – 19 November 2016, titled Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Scottish Artist in St Ives and the St Ives September Festival 2016. 

This entry is very relevant to us as the portrait of Mrs Rogers hangs in our exhibition and many in the town have come to see her. It is striking on many levels and the entry below alludes to this.

Mrs Rogers / The Sloop

I am painting in the Sloop. This is a job. The light is poor and time limited. 2.45-4pm. I hope to keep this a decorative composition. On a different colour scheme to my recent paintings using:

Aureole Yellow
Alizarin Crimson
Viridian Green

She is a handsome clear-cut woman with most distinctive hair dressing and a charming attractive personality. Tall and angular. With a sensuous mouth yet almost hard faced. Something of the Duchess of Windsor style. So she had often been told and I can see it.

Mrs Rogers gives me tea after upstairs in a tiny well furnished room obviously the larder. A wonderful orange russet thick carpet and when the light is on it, oh!

barnsgraham_portraitofmrsrodgers_sloopinn_c1945_belgravePortrait of Mrs Rogers – Sloop Inn c1945
75 x 63 cms; Oil on canvas
Provenance: The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust

Janet Axten of St Ives Archive held a talk during the festival where more entries were read. The audience throughly enjoyed this way of looking at the artist and we heard some wonderful stories recounted in the week.

September 13th ST IVES ARTS CLUB, Westcott’s Quay 1 – 2.15pm
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in her own words 
The Scottish artist who came to St Ives in 1940 was a constant letter writer and kept a diary of her early life in the town. Janet Axten, Heritage Manager, St Ives Archive, reads excerpts from these papers. They give a vivid insight into wartime life and the artists that she met. Supported by The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust. (This replaces the programme entry ‘Talk: In Search of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’ by Lynne Green)

GRAHAM RICH ‘A Conceptual Voyage’ – Gallery Installation

The voyage unfolds in an anti-clockwise direction around the gallery, starting here...
The voyage unfolds in an anti-clockwise direction around the gallery, starting here…

...and continues around the coast and around the gallery...
…and continues around the coast and around the gallery…

...finishing with a logbook here.
…finishing with a logbook here.

Overview 1
Overview 1

Overview 2
Overview 2

‘I have a history of cruising the Devon and Cornwall Coast in the gaff rigged cutter ‘Jouissance’. I have kept logbooks, made art, and speculated on the possibility of developing a form for a voyage installation.

A chance encounter with Belgrave St Ives Director, Michael Gaca, on the staircase at the London Art Fair has originated yet another presentational form.

Following the ‘Cluster’, and the ‘Square Yard’, Michael has now added the ‘Conceptual Voyage’: Dartmouth – Salcombe, Polperro – Fowey, St Michael’s Mount – Penzance, Zennor – St Ives’. With the ‘Conceptual Voyage’ Michael has provided a matrix capable of structuring units of time – a 22-day voyage in 22 parts, which records 22 days of sailing and of exploring the South West Coast.

Each day of the Voyage is marked by a vertical unit recovered from a marine paint-testing programme. All the vertical units have survived severe testing for long periods under water. They could be seen within the conceptual frame as articulating a water level as well as a period of time. Above these conceptual units, is the voyage hung as a narrative sequence.

The last image is of a logbook in a glass box, which brings the voyage to its conclusion.’


V & A Prints Collections

Great news for gallery artist Sarah Poland

Oats And Whisky


Aberystwyth : Paper Press Print has been accepted into the print collections of theVictoria and Albert Museum.

It has also been accepted into theUniversity of Wales Art Collectionswhere research is an important aspect of their activities, with emphasis particularly upon the history of graphic art, the development of new processes in etching, lithography and relief printing. The University of Wales Collection currently has an archive of over 10,000 prints, drawings and photographs and the galleries regularly host both touring and in-house curated shows of historical and contemporary prints by leading practitioners of national and international repute.

This is very exciting and prestigious and allows me to now have the heading of ‘Public Collections‘ on my artist’s biography.


I wrote about the portfolio in a previous post outlining,  ‘On his web-site Paul describes it as ‘a portfolio celebrating the diversity of printmaking…

View original post 90 more words

Summer Exhibition 2013 – Installation Shots

Here are some informal shots of the exhibition in the gallery. It’s a really rich and diverse show…hopefully this will give you a sense of it. You can view all works in the exhibition individually by visiting the gallery website.