This one year programme at the Arts School in St.Ives provides students with time to explore and ends with an exhibition displayed by their tutors, who are varied and it seems open to all sorts of media. One of the students told me she found them encouraging rather than indulging in the stereotyped notion of arts school tutors, mostly in my experience male, who feel it essential to tear into students to test their confidence, and traditionally leave a trail of tears.
The Crypt and Penwith back gallery have recently shown been transformed from their usual quiet display of paintings into rooms giving each artist an individual space, some incorporating use of video and performance. Each has statements on the wall which help to give a way into understanding their intentions.
To me it felt refreshing and interesting.
Mandi Stewart uses video in ‘R is for Rose, R is for Refugee’ In her installation she contrasts the safety with which roses are transported with the dangers for refugees. This unusual juxtaposition brought fragility to mind and the horror of war in a quietly emotive way.
Seona Myerscough had a video discussing the pros and cons of changing from lawyer to artist in a zany way and paintings of the landscape that captured a crepuscular atmosphere.
Claire Voss-Bark quoted from Shakespeare ‘Like as waves make towards the pebble’d shore.
So do our minutes hasten to their end..’
from sonnet no. 60. This gave her quite a task to match the imaginative simile from our so famous poet with her more literal photographs however beautifully made.
Mary Trapp expressed intense personal experience about being in water.
Helen Falconar had used fungi to make prints emphasizing pattern and sublety.
Many of the artists were using paint in largely abstract marks applied with a lively insoucience, refering to their own life experience in various ways, incorprating memory and observation. Perhaps this is largely the theme of the course? Maybe it reflects the painting background of many of the tutors and the art heritage of St.Ives, still dominated by modern gestural abstraction related to landscape?
|Lucia Jones 'Sake at bar Vitelli'|
It is in some ways a terrible injustice to visit such a show for a short while when the artists have clearly been working intensely and seriously for a year, some engaging in a second year.
I would be glad to read comments from others who saw the show or participated in the course as tutors or students.