Cornwall Contemporary 1 Parade Street, Penzance

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Maggie Matthews

6 June - 7 July 2018

Maggie Matthews ‘In Bloom’

“We love to give flowers, expressing our most powerful feelings from the joyful celebration of love to profound grief, they mark the most important moments in our lives. Today we import most of our flowers from distant lands, but Cornwall has a rich history in farming flowers. On the Isles of Scilly in 1870 Mr William Trevellick packed some daffodils into an old hat box and posted them off to Covent Garden and so an industry was born.

Taking advantage of the early mild springs daffodils became an important crop and with the coming of the railway West Cornwall regularly supplied London and beyond. It was while crossing one of the many footpaths on the slopes opposite St Michael’s Mount that I came across Varfell Farm where “Greenyard Flowers” is the world’s largest daffodil producer, leaders in the growing and packing of daffodils. It’s not just daffodils grown here as I was about to find out, but spectacular fields of Agapanthus and Amaryllis. Following the sign to “The National Dahlia Collection” I wandered into the most spectacular field filled with every vibrant colour and form of flower you can imagine. I returned many times over the coming months with my sketchbook and camera in hand. It wasn’t long until I met the production manager of the collection Louise Danks and Gilles Deprez. Louise and Gilles explained that the collection holds over 1,600 new and heritage varieties, a real national treasure.   

This exhibition brings together the body of work which was to follow, I hope you find it as colourful and vibrant as The National Dahlia Collection, and if you ever get chance to visit the collection in the summer months you won’t be disappointed.

Maggie Matthews

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Cornwall Contemporary
1 Parade Street
Queens Square
Penzance
Cornwall
TR18 4BU

Telephone: 01736 874749

opening times:
monday - Saturday  10 - 5

Gallery Director:
Sarah Brittain-Mansbridge
sarah@cornwallcontemporary.com

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