Cornwall Contemporary 1 Parade Street, Penzance

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Posts Tagged ‘studio visit’

David Mankin studio visit | 27 July 2018

Had the most wonderful morning yesterday visiting David Mankin in his studio, selecting paintings and discussing his forthcoming show with us. I can’t wait to hang these paintings in the gallery and share them all with you. They are brilliantly dynamic and filled with a huge amount of movement and depth, and his palette is exceptional. It’s going to be a simply stunning exhibition. David’s show opens on 26th September – definitely a date for your diary.

Charlotte Jones Ceramics Studio Visit | 26 September 2016

After exhibiting the ceramics of Charlotte Jones in Cornwall Contemporary for the last ten years, I thought it was high time I visited her studio to see her at work and talk to her about her creative process. 

charlotte-jones-pottery-studio-exterior

The studio itself is stunning and hand built by her furniture-maker husband Ron. The attention to detail is incredible (and mirrors much of Charlotte’s workmanship in her own creative practice).

After working in their house for years and years (a converted chapel with tantalising sea glimpses) Charlotte finally got a designated studio-haven at the bottom of the garden in January this year. At first I couldn’t quite believe that it was a making studio and not just a show room as it was pretty immaculate for a ceramics studio – even her wheel was suspiciously clean! But she is a firm believer in cleaning up her space at the end of each day and keeping some semblance of order in the studio. 

charlotte-jones-at-work-in-her-studio

After being surrounded by Charlotte’s ceramics for the last decade – both in the gallery and in my own home, it was a very special experience to see her in action and to learn more about the painstaking and time consuming methods that she uses. Each vessel is started on the wheel to create a strong base and then a combination of slab and coil work is used to complete each pot. All the clay used is local – with Charlotte often sourcing and digging the clay herself. In fact she told me she was keeping an eye on a piece of land in a nearby field and was pleased to see cattle in there as she could see the cows nicely treading and working the clay each time they walked past.

work-in-progress-in-charlotte-jones-studio

Not only does Charlotte source her own clay, she also adds earth and mineral pigments to the clay to create colour, as unusually for a potter, none of Charlotte’s bowls and pots are glazed, yet still remain water tight and functional. So colour is added to the actual clay and runs throughout the fabric of the pot, rather than being added on as surface decoration after the pot is fired. This is a very lengthy and involved process and speaks volumes of Charlotte’s patience and dedication to each vessel as some bowls can be worked on for weeks and weeks before they’re finished.

studio-dog All of Charlotte’s inspiration is sourced from nature and each working day starts with walking the dog through surrounding fields and countryside, where field shapes and patterns and gradated landscape horizons can spark an idea back in the studio. She has a strong work ethic and is in the studio working every day from 10am onwards, and can often find herself there until the evening. She recently allowed herself a week off and spent all of it sketching and painting, creating source material for future works. Shells hold a particular fascination for her and she can look at them in the most minute detail, noting a particular subtle line of pink on the underside which will be then translated into a pot.

 

 

ideas-and-inspiration-board-in-the-studio-of-charlotte-jones charlotte-jones-potterya-collection-of-objects-in-charlotte-jones-pottery-studioCharlotte’s pottery has become highly collectable and sought after over the years and rightly so. I know from my own personal experience how special each piece becomes to the owner and I was recently contacted by a customer in Australia who had bought a small pot by Charlotte some years ago and was desperate to buy a replacement for it after breaking it. I luckily had a bowl that was similar in size and colour and he was delighted to receive it (the postage paid, far exceeded the price of the pot!) The most common question I’m asked in the gallery is “but are they functional?” and yes they are, it was a particular treat to see a stack of Charlotte’s bowls above the cooker in her kitchen as I, and I think most people who buy them, treat them in a very revered kind of way, but they are fully intended to be functional pieces and particular care is taken to ensure they hold liquid and can be used in a variety of ways. And I think that’s why I’m so drawn to Charlotte’s work – as each one is a work of art in it’s own right, while straddling that art/ function divide. Each bowl is incredibly tactile and holds my interest like a piece of sculpture.

You can view pieces in the range of pottery by Charlotte Jones that we have in the gallery here.

charlotte-jones-at-rest-in-her-ceramics-studio

Sarah Brittain-Mansbridge

Director, Cornwall Contemporary

Jessica Cooper studio visit | 31 March 2016

Jessica Cooper

Yesterday I took some people over to see Jessica Cooper in her light-filled studio in Newlyn. They have long been admirers of Jess’s work and we spent a wonderful afternoon hearing Jess talk about her painting practice. Especially heart warming was to see 12 year old Alec’s reaction to Jess’ beautifully balanced and quietly and deceptively simple compositions – upon leaving, Alec turned to Jess and said “I love your paintings and I hope you never, ever stop painting.”

I’ve personally known Jess for 20 years and have watched her paintings grow in confidence and her career blossom and thrive. It’s still a thrill to be able to visit an artist’s studio and to see where ideas become paintings.

Daphne McClure & Janet Lynch | 15 March 2016

I recently visited the artist Daphne McClure to pick up paintings for our current Spring Exhibition. Daphne is an inspiration and is still producing some of her finest work ever. It’s a real privilege to work alongside her and to have been exhibiting her wonderful paintings for the past 10 years.

Daphne McClure

I also visited Janet Lynch in her beautiful studio tucked away in the Cornish countryside on the north coast between St. Just and St. Ives. It’s always wonderful to see Janet and to view her work in situ. Her current work is linked to poetry that has inspired Janet in some way and her lyrical and narrative figurative paintings are always visually exciting and dynamic. I’m so excited about her exhibition at the gallery this year in June – her last solo show at the gallery was practically a sell-out.

Janet Lynch

 

 

New Year studio visits | 12 January 2016

Throughout January 2016 I am visiting my artists in their studios and also visiting other artistic institutions and venues to learn more about how my artists work and to gain further insight in how best to support them. The new year is a time to step back from the daily running of the gallery, and to get a broader understanding of where my artists are with their working practice and to see if they need any support, help or just general cheerleading in the run up to their exhibitions.

Ken. spooner at work in his studio

My first five days were spent with Ken Spooner in his ceramics studio. Ken is a multi disciplinary artist with separate studios for painting, ceramics, welding and sculpture. Ken is a true creative visionary and it was a joy and a privilege to see the processes behind his work. Maggie Matthews

Then came a day spent with Maggie Matthews and a sneak preview of the stunning canvases that she has started work on in preparation for her show in summer 2016. I have worked with Maggie for 18 years now and it’s wonderful to see her produce her finest work yet – a true marriage of colour, balance, form and mark making – simply superb. Leach Pottery

I am now two days into a week long stay at Leach Pottery, St. Ives, learning more about the Leach legacy and contemporary ceramics. It’s a fascinating and inspiring environment and I am learning a great deal. Next week I will visit Janet Lynch in her studio to see her wonderful narrative and lyrical paintings – can’t wait!

Sarah Brittain-Mansbridge Director, Cornwall Contemporary

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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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