In Yew Tree Gallery’s opening exhibition of the season pastels, watercolours and oils of West Cornwall’s coastline by plein-air artist Carolyn White contrast with exuberant acrylics of abundant growth in great Cornish gardens by Janet Lynch. Stylised birds and flowers decorate Jill Fanshawe Kato’s ceramics while the pale blue glazed interiors of Peter Swanson’s domestic pots echo the calmer seas. Lustrous gem-stone necklaces are by actress/jeweller Barbara Flynn and unusual narrative sculpture is by Edwina Bridgeman. A new collection of stoneware sculpture by John Maltby adds to the delights of this show.
Painting was a lifelong passion for CAROLYN WHITE ever since she graduated from Chelsea and Kingston Colleges of Art in the late ‘60s. She loved travelling to far-flung places, drinking in the atmosphere and culture, and translating this into her paintings. Living in the Cotswolds these past 30 years imbued her with a strong empathy for the rolling wooded valleys which she painted in all seasons. Her spirit yearned also for the sea and in this, Cornwall became her focus. Long periods annually were spent on the Penwith peninsula where she ‘caught the moment’ in pastel, watercolour and oils. Her particular gift was the distillation of landscape into an abstraction of mood, colour and form.
JANET LYNCH lives on the moors of West Penwith looking across to the Scillies where last May she revelled in the wonders of Tresco’s Abbey Gardens, which resulted in paintings for her Cornish garden series, Trewidden among them. She writes “The most important thing for me is to try to capture that balance between the exuberant chaos of nature and the order imposed by the gardener. I try to corral the seemingly random splashes of colour into a visual narrative, without losing the uplifting spirit of natural disorder.” Janet is one of those versatile artists who can move easily between abstract and figurative, constantly delighting the viewer with new surprises revealed by her paintbrush. Colour, often used emotively, is one of the most striking elements in her work.
All paintings are mixed media on canvas
EDWINA BRIDGEMAN’s narrative mixed-media constructions have brought pleasure to many over the years. At the culmination of her M.A. studies, she now introduces new methods of working and concentrates more on individual figures. As she says” the work remains celebratory and joyful. Creating objects using simple techniques and humble materials is somehow life-affirming.” Voyages, as a metaphor for our journey through life, are expressed through her several boat constructions, made from found materials. The figures in this exhibition represent us all. Edwina’s latest solo show was ‘Ship of Fools’ at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath earlier this year.
JILL FANSHAWE KATO, a well-respected potter in Britain and Japan for many years, is totally original in her approach, not falling into any specific category as either ‘vessel maker’ or ‘ceramic sculptor’. Instead, she creates all manner of pieces as the spirit moves her. A love of nature ensures that birds, small creatures and plants feature in her decoration, as well as abstract shapes. The influence of travel to foreign countries brings to her work, which is mainly slab-built or coiled in stoneware clay, exotic designs and colours. She has worked in the studios of Japanese master potters and had frequent exhibitions in Japan, as well as Britain, most recently at the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
Best known to most as an actress of stage and screen, BARBARA FLYNN is also a jeweller of repute. As excited by colour and form as Carolyn was, she sources striking and unusual semi-precious stones for her very individual necklaces. She delights in such rarities as Roman glass found buried in Afghanistan, the luminosity of unpolished Peruvian Amazonite and the fern-like inclusions of Moss Agates. Barbara first showed at Yew Tree in 2004 and subsequently has had many exhibitions, most recently at the Northsouth Gallery in Highgate. She was a friend of Carolyn’s and admired her Cornish landscapes “which so truthfully evoke Penwith”
A potter for over 40 years, PETER SWANSON continues to experiment with glazes, clays and firing techniques in the true spirit of an artist-craftsman. Based on a clay dug from the cliffs of St Agnes, he blends and mixes the clay bodies, each with its special properties, for his stoneware domestic pots, the delicate porcelain, for slab building and for the Anagama kiln, which he built in 2004. This is fired with wood, the ash penetrating the pot to produce a variety of interesting glaze effects. A master of the art of repeat throwing, his domestic pots can form complete sets for the table, albeit with the natural idiosyncrasies of the hand-thrown vessel. Peter works in an old chapel in West Cornwall.
No Yew Tree exhibition would be complete without a collection of John Maltby’s inimitable sculpture – and for this show we have some brand new work to delight you.
There are also cabinets of new jewellery by Guy Royle, Duibhne Gough, Rita Seres, Jane Kennard and Helyne Jennings and Alison Dupernex’s textured silk scarves. Original prints by Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin, Angela Harding, Breon O’Casey, Catherine Forshall and Robert Greenhalf add to the selection of work available in ‘THE GREAT OUTDOORS’.
Do let us know if you would like to see images of further works by the exhibitors.