Spontaneous decisions have got me into trouble in the past, however, a last-minute camping trip to St Ives on Saturday was a desperately needed break from the lockdown routine, and the first time Robin and I had been away from home since February. Plenty of fresh air and sunshine was just what we needed to restore jaded spirits, along with a dose of art.
New Craftsman Gallery
First stop was the New Craftsman Gallery as usual. New in were some Lauren Nauman cast porcelain vessels (top left and centre) which cast beautiful shadows on the white plinths. Some are made up of plain white porcelain, others, like the middle image have fine layers of black slip overlaying the white, adding to the lines and shadowy, beautifully sensuous forms.
Upstairs nestled in a corner was a large Hilary Mayo vessel. I loved how it had been placed on a grey stone that appeared to float on the plinth, complimenting the subtly complicated surface of her containers.
Finally, two Sheila Foote abstract paintings which I love. Why? maybe the vibrant lines, the suggestion of forms that you may recognise as something, splashes of a copper orange and olive over greys. Just beautiful to me because I know I can’t draw like that but wish I could.
Anima Mundi Gallery
Joy Wolfenden Brown
Haunting paintings by Joy Wolfenden Brown at Anima Mundi Gallery. As you enter the ground floor you are surrounded by sadness. I found it hard to look at these oil paintings of wistful girls, their large brown eyes followed you. The second floor is all white wood and sunny space and I did think the paintings had more of a lightness about them, including the kingfisher one on the right. Beautiful frames too. The middle image is a detail of a tall paper drawing. I particularly liked the brush line and soft qualities of the oil paint on paper, similar to a monotype.
…is a solo show of Phoebe Cummings’ new work including some drawings using clay as pigment – subtle wash and lines leave a glittery quality on the paper, an obvious companion to her ceramic installations and discrete clay flower forms. Over (centre and top right) was made in situ – a wonderful construction of unfired clay which reminds me of autumnal sweepings up of leaves and decaying flower heads. I love the clay covered steel ‘stalk’ which throws another shadowline on the wall as well. Maybe because we are entering into the season of darkness and shorter days, light and shadows become more obvious to us. This week I wove my first wire light ‘shade’ which scatters scribbled shadows on the kitchen ceiling, so it’s something on my radar at the moment.