Monday, 7 January 2019

Two mixed shows Anima Mundi and Crypt, St.Ives December 2018

Anima Mundi and Crypt Exhibitions, St.Ives, Dec 2018

Anima Mundi now has an attendant near the door who turns out to be one of the exhibitors, greets
me, offers the information sheets and price list and is willing to discuss the work when I have been
The information is extensive and in rather small grey print, so small it's like the last example they
give you at the opticians and feels like very hard work to read, particularly as a lot of the blurb
strikes me as contending for pseuds' corner. At the bottom of page one a line has been
accidentally omitted. Please proof read and print larger and blacker.

The big name is Trevor Bell, with the biggest price at £24,000 for 'Gust', a title which helpfully
guides me into understanding the gestural marks as relating to the wind, maybe a response to an
experience or maybe the experience of using the paint reminding the artist of the weather.

My favourite work is 'Dreaming of another world' by Rebecca Harper. It shows a group of young
men emerging from a tube train. It's a large painting done in a lively way. Here the title again adds something. Without it would there be any reference to possible migration to a new city or country? The beautiful coastal scene painted on the side of the
train could make us in Cornwall think of the way people leave their lovely surroundings here toseek fame and fortune via the smoky- smelling underground beneath the crowded capital.

Carlos Zapata lives in Cornwall 'currently'.His 'Son, you still alive' is a small scale wooden carving.
The child has a gun. The mother and son meet. The artist is Columbian. The meaning comes over,
the concern, the dangers in the world. The style is low key, the carving skilful and spare.

There is a lot more to see, including photography from 'troubled and turbulent places' by Abbie
Taylor Smith, and a fanciful video of Angel images by Roger Thorp, inventively presented in an old
gesso frame. There is a sound piece by Jamie Mills, an ominous high droning on the top floor.

All the artists seem to have done a lot, been to many places etc.

At the Crypt Marie Keeling is invigilating a show which is presented cheerfully with music playing
and prices often under £100. These are artists who live in St.Ives, not about to jet off round the
world you might think but in fact Zoe Eaton is in Gujerat on an artist's residency.

Zoe Eaton

Bobby Whatnot shows his obsessional dotted compositions which evolve in various directions from
a limited scope.

Marie Keeling is invigilating, willing to talk about the work.
I like her extraordinary use of wires with coloured discs emerging from some pictures. A sort of
irrepressible energy and whimsical notions (of a flight down to Rio perhaps)

There isn't oodles of information or persuasion of the important 'emerging' fame of the artists.

Anima Mundi aspires to and is the more cutting edge in St.Ives, of artists mysteriously selected to
secure a place on some list to be offered as commanding respect in the crazy art world.

The Crypt show is without this kudos yet presents three inventive artists who all live here not just
'currently', although of course they could also move. Their unusual works are also within the
budget of many of their visitors.

Interestingly the gallery names indicate a division - The Crypt referring simply to where it is, the
basement of the Mariners' Church, long changed in use to house art, whilst Anima Mundi, which used to be The
New Millenium, shows a desire to encompass in both its namings a contemporary global range.
To the cognoscenti The Crypt recalls the early show by St.Ives modernists who are now famous
names and the reason we have a Tate in St.Ives. So it's worth considering the Do it yourself
collective shows there alongside the select list at Anima Mundi.