Category: art

New surroundings for a new year

Art is a very personal thing, so it’s completely understandable that not all artists are commercial and want to sell their work or make a living from it. My hubby and I are both graduates of Falmouth School of Art. But I have never sold any of my paintings or sketches. And the same was true of Dave until three years ago. 

Our journey to our new workspace started when friends invited us to join them in Wexford for the Art in the Open Plein Air festival. We had a fabulous week indulging in what up to then had just been a hobby. And left a couple of our paintings with our hosts to say thank you for their incredible hospitality. Thrilled, they persuaded Dave to enter his work into the exhibition which closed the event. We genuinely expected to receive them back in the post a few weeks later, but they all sold. Understandably, Dave’s confidence received a massive boost. So when the opportunity to enter the Imagine Falmouth exhibition arrived, he decided to take the plunge and his entry was accepted. He sold his piece and was over the moon. 

The seed had now been well and truly planted, and he decided to set his sights on becoming a professional artist when he retired. But working from home, although very cost-effective is not easy ideal. And after two years of working in the conservatory, I was ready to take the step away too.

We both needed somewhere to work on raising our game, so we started looking for a studio. A move that we hoped would help Dave focus on developing his professional practice. And give me somewhere to separate my work as a content writer from my personal ambition to finish my novel.

Frustratingly despite the huge artistic community in Falmouth, or maybe because of it, artist studios are very hard to come by. We knew a few other friends who were in the same position, so when we saw a property listing in the estate agents window, we had a light bulb moment. 

In January we picked up the keys for our new professional home at the Terrace Gallery in Penryn. It’s fast becoming a home from home for other artists and creative businesses which offers invaluable exhibition space for artists and makers who struggle to get their work shown in the larger galleries. The handy event space also provides local artists & makers with the opportunity to share their inspiration, techniques and craft as talks, workshops and short courses.

As artists ourselves, we know the equilibrium between the time and effort that goes into creating original artwork, and the sale price is often unbalanced. Thankfully the commission rate for the gallery is low and the cost of hiring the event space reasonable. 

Dave’s first giant leap is nearly upon him as he prepares for his first exhibition in February. And I have rescheduled my calendar to make sure  I take some personal writing time during the week…so maybe I will finally get to finish my novel afterall!

 

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The colourful worlds of Hew Locke & Krijn de Koning

I have attended two thought-provoking but very different sculptural based lectures at Falmouth School of Art this month.

Hew Locke was giving his last lecture as his post as Visiting Professor and Krijn de Koning was doing a favour for a former colleague.

Both showed a mix of very different, older, recent, large and smaller projects. They also discussed their research and creation of their pieces in response to the environment. In Locke’s case, his influences are very political and culturally based.  The site-specific work Krijn de Koning is more present day than historical. He analyses and tries to understand a particular existing situation, seeking the possibilities within the space and letting his thoughts emerge from it. However, the connections he makes in the in situ are similar to those Locke makes within his historical research.

Both have had the opportunity to exhibit in open spaces and churches.
But their work although equally as colourfull is strikingly different which for me was a significant reminder of the beauty of individuality in the fantastic world of art.

Full blogs for both feature as journal entries on my art blogging page

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The end of summer

As the summer draws towards a close so does the astounding Groundworks Art programme and the end of my time as a volunteer.

It was a sad moment for me as I have revelled in the opportunity to engage with this outstanding art programme of installation art. The gift of spending time immersed in the same space as such great pieces of art has been priceless. From Christina Mackie’s intriguing contemporary sculptural installation at Godolphin House, Helston. To the inspiring immersive films of Steve McQueen, Francis Alÿs & Laureana Toledo, and the highly emotive Forty-Part Motet by Janet Cardiff. I have loved them all.

 As an avid filmgoer and aspiring scriptwriter, I have been captured by the power of filmmaking as an artwork, enough to be inspired to dabble in the genre. But the biggest surprise to me was my response to the Janet Cardiff sound installation in the revitalised Richmond Chapel, Penzance. Not a religious person and definitely not a fan of 16th-century choral music, I found myself never tiring of the Thomas Tallis piece she had so cleverly manipulated. It wasn’t just me either. Time and time again local residents returned for their ‘daily fix’. Whilst visitors from further afield cajoled their nearest and dearest into experiencing the piece first hand. I did the same to mine too, and they loved it too.

Volunteering is such an uplifting way of lending your support to something you believe in. And the Groundwork Art programme message of ‘Art for All’ was definitely worth spreading. The opportunities the programme has presented for the general public to experience work of internationally recognised artists, curators and producers have been enthusiastically grabbed with both hands by everyone I met during my onsite sessions. And I sincerely hope there will be many more similar well-curated programmes, in such inspiring locations, to come in the future.

So I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the funding bodies who helped make this art programme possible and an even bigger THANK YOU to all the organisers, staff and fellow volunteers who gave up so much of their personal time and without whom this programme would not have succeeded and touched so many people’s lives.

 

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Andrew Lanyon – Nature’s Laboratory: A Fantasy

Once again Falmouth Art Gallery has played host to an engaging exhibition which asks you to question and open your minds.

Nature’s Laboratory: A Fantasy, which will run until mid-March 2018 offers the visitor the chance to ‘immerse ourselves in the tale of Nature’.  Andrew Lanyon’s own work features in this thought-provoking exhibition along with a collective of Cornish artists.

I was lucky enough to attend a short talk by Andrew as the exhibition was being hung in the next gallery. He enlighted us in the processes which help him invent. The use of senses to invent a narrative, in particular, sounds to inspire lyrics.

Andrew Lanyon studied at the London School of Film Technique and spent several years as a freelance photographer. He ventured into book production to accompany his touring exhibitions, The Rooks of Trelawne and The Vanishing Cabinet.  

Andrew has also written highly acclaimed books on his father the painter Peter Lanyon, Alfred Wallis and other painters, sculptors, writers and poets.

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