Print Exhibition

February can be a relatively quiet time in St. Ives, and so the gallery is often to be found showing work at one or other of the main London art fairs. This year, we’re showing at the 20/21 International Art Fair at The Royal College of Art (18 -21 Feb) for the first time.  You’ll find us on stand no.40.

However, early in January, we realised that we were holding a really strong group of printed works in stock, and so decided to put on an exhibition of them in the St Ives gallery for the second half of  February. The show opened without a Private View on Saturday 13th, and we’re happy to report that interest has been keen! We’re showing some 53 prints in all sorts of media across both galleries, and included are many interesting names in Modern British, Modern St Ives, Contemporary and Urban Art. If you happen to be in St Ives over the half term week, do drop in. Those of you who can’t be here can also view the complete exhibition on the gallery website here:

December Exhibition

December Exhibition at Belgrave St Ives

Our first exhibition in the newly refurbished main gallery looks like being a lively one! We have asked selected artists to submit one or two small paintings or works on paper to the show, and they have all risen to the challenge admirably. The exhibition, which is now taking shape on the website, will be hung during the week ahead, and will open on Sat 12 December with a Private View between 6 and 8pm. Please do come and join us if you find yourselves in town on the night. Many of the works from the exhibition can now be viewed here.

December Exhibition

Now that our Sven Berlin show has developed a life of its own, we can let it begin to find its own way in the world and turn our attention to the future once more…

Realising that the Summer and early Autumn would be a particularly busy time for us this year, Michael and Irving programmed in a month-long respite from set exhibitions for next month. As a consequence, November will see a strong selection of works from our stock hit the walls; a chance to see a mixture of Modern and Contemporary works that take our fancy, no doubt alongside a few choice, unsold works by Sven for those arriving too late for the main exhibition. The break gives us a chance to catch up with behind-the-scenes admin, organisation and development, as well as prepare for our next set exhibition, which is our December Exhibition.

Our December Exhibition is a show of Contemporary work, in which we plan to show 2 or 3 new works by most of our current artists, alongside a small number of invited ‘guest’ artists. Plans are only just being put into action, so further details will follow in due course. Until then…

A little more about Sven, Belgrave and Tate

Sven Berlin's Owl In Flight 1988 has been produced as a postcard by Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin's Owl In Flight 1988 has been produced as a postcard by Tate St Ives

When we heard of plans to re-issue Sven’s book ‘The Dark Monarch‘, we were happy to be able to include the launch of the book with the exhibition of works by Sven that we had been planning for some time. When we then heard some time later that Tate St Ives were planning to use the title of the book as the title for their Autumn exhibition, it made sense for us to time our show to coincide with theirs, and it has been good to have a chance to work more closely with their curatorial team here in St Ives.

Those of you who have seen the Tate St Ives exhibition will know that it includes several works by Sven, many of which are on loan from Belgrave Gallery. The beautiful, striking owl, which we have been showing in our window overlooking Fore Street in Gallery Two, looks really strong in the Tate’s Gallery One, and in the same room you will find other carvings and drawings by Sven on loan from the gallery.

The traffic between the two galleries has been, consequently, pretty brisk; many people visiting the Tate and hitherto unaware of Sven’s work have been visiting us, and conversely, several people who have visited us and really enjoyed Sven’s work have been persuaded to discover more about this colourful artist’s thoroughly life-affirming oeuvre.

Sven Berlin 'The Dark Monarch' - currently on show in Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'The Dark Monarch' - currently on show at Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Small Monarch Head' - currently on show in Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Small Monarch Head' - currently on show at Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Baboon' - currently on display at Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Baboon' - currently on display at Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Self Portrait' 1942 - currently on show at Tate St Ives
Sven Berlin 'Self Portrait' 1942 - currently on show at Tate St Ives

There is, of course, a lot more to see both here and at Tate St Ives, but hopefully this small taste will be enough to inspire you to come and see both shows before the end of the month. Speaking personally, I absolutely love the new Tate show. Over 150 works, all interesting, some just amazing. Come on down to St Ives…

Ffiona Lewis back in St Ives

Saturday saw the opening of Ffiona’s debut show at the Belgrave. Reaction to the show has been overwhelmingly positive, with fellow artists in particular being drawn to the quality of the work. Only yesterday, a lady came in to look at the show and felt compelled to tell me, just before her exit, that she had never before been to a show where she liked every single picture in the exhibition! The PV itself was relatively modestly attended, but those who came were rewarded by a high quality show, the artist’s presence and a glass of finest. A small but select band, which included artist Hadrian Piggott, then adjourned to a local restaurant for further refreshment. The show  coincides with the St Ives September Festival and Sax Impey at Millennium, so a visit to the town is currently highly recommended.

Last days of ‘Lost Ways’ and St Ives Exhibition 2009

People were coming to view the gallery in earnest today in order to re-visit Amanda Wallwork’s map-based painting show before it came down or because they had just made it to St Ives from North Cornwall or ‘up country’ in time to catch the St Ives Exhibition 2009. It seems everyone who has been to the gallery has enjoyed becoming immersed in one of the spaces, if not both. The spaces are rich and quite intense for different reasons but what connects them is that the historical and cultural past in relationship to the landscape seep into both.

Amanda’s work will come down on Monday, whereas in our main space the Moderns show will stay much as it is. There will be a few changes but not until the following week will this space feel completely different. As this is written, the next catalogue is winging its way around and out of Cornwall.

The catalogue highlights key works from Eric Ward and Chris Insoll with a write up about how the artists are connected. The title of the show is ‘Two Colonies’ and the full list of works available is now showing online with up-to-date biographical information about Eric and Chris. We will post some exhibition shots of the hang as well as some of the characters themselves.

In the meantime, gallery staff as well as gallery visitors and passer-bys can continue to gaze at the breathtaking Dolan by the window. It has been much admired.

St Ives Exhibition 2009

Margaret Mellis WomanAndFish II oil on canvas 1957
Margaret Mellis WomanAndFish II 1957

Our annual show of work by British Modern artists, focussing particularly on artists of the St. Ives School, is looking good in the main gallery. Dominating the space are a group of large canvasses by Patrick Dolan, and it’s been great to see these works being shown after so long in a private collection. Dolan is remembered, still, in St Ives, by some of our artists and visitors. Bob Crossley and John Emanuel both have strong memories of the artist and his work. And, as one visitor commented the other day, ‘they (this group of works by Dolan) have more energy and strength than anything in the Tate (St. Ives) at the moment!’

Between these monoloithic canvases, a striking range of small and medium sized works by names like Heron, Hepworth, Frost, Scott, etc are strung out in eye catching lines. The early, representational Frost oil ‘Fish Bones‘ is a little gem, and the largish 60s Weschke landscape provides a firm focus to the rear of the gallery. The William Gear painting is brooding and bequiling, there is a rare Fishwick oil and a delightful group of works by a great gallery-staff favourite, Patrick Hayman. These works had originally been slated for a separate show, but have ended up making 2009’s St Ives show a particularly engaging one.

There are several accessible prints, including lithographs, screenprints and/or etchings by Barbara Hepworth, Karl Weschke, William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Bryan Ingham and Terry Frost, as well as more substantial paintings by Margaret Mellis, Michael Canney, Patrick Hayman, Padraig Macmiadhachain, Frank Beanland and, again, Terry Frost. Small sculptures by John Milne and Denis Mitchell sit in the cabinet alongside a few pieces of Troika Pottery. The Troika ‘Ashtrays’ have been re-branded ‘Concave Forms’  by the post-smoking gallery staff.

Do come and see St Ives Exhibition 2009 if you can.


'Stone Map' from Amanda Wallwork's new exhibition 'Lost Ways'
'Stone Map' from Amanda Wallwork's new exhibition 'Lost Ways'

Amanda Wallwork’s exhibition ‘Lost Ways’ opened on Saturday evening becoming the inaugural one-person show in Belgrave Gallery 2.

To mark the occasion, Amanda Wallwork spoke briefly to an audience of more than 30 people about her formative years as an artist and in more depth about the body of work being shown in this exhibition. All of the paintings relate to the ancient track way known as The Tinners Way, West Penwith, Cornwall. Wallwork’s description of her source/reference materials and the process through which the paintings evolve added a greater depth to the understanding of her work.

National Trust archaeologist for Penwith, Paul Bonnington.
National Trust archaeologist for Penwith, Paul Bonnington.

Paul Bonnington, National Trust Archaeologist for West Penwith, followed the artist’s talk with an entertaining and enlightening presentation that provided a fascinating insight into the historic, social and geological aspects of this ancient route.

The combination of an artist’s intuitive response and a more scientific, factual interpretation brought a much deeper appreciation of the subject.

Artist and audience at the opening in gallery 2.
Artist and audience at the opening in gallery 2.

The exhibition continues in Belgrave Gallery 2 to 27 July, and can be viewed on our website here.

Belgrave Gallery plans to hold future events that broaden visitor’s experience and in September Michael Bird and Felicity Mara will be collaborating with a text/picture/sound event.