Cornelia O’Donovan, Simon Pooley & Oliver Teagle
4 – 29 October 2022
“When I was a child, my sister and I would spend days making paper cardboard houses, sometimes villages – using toothpaste lids to make light bulbs, scraps of fabric for curtains, making interior worlds.
That feeling never left me and still today I work with the idea of making something from nothing. It is fascinating, entirely insular and personal, but speaks of today and time and is a female voice. The first drawings and scribbles are stiff, then after I am relaxed enough, they begin to be playful. I work without judging or editing and it seems to pour out. I find the process of setting up, layering colour down, cutting up and arranging shapes totally absorbing.
The time I spend working is a complete other world, a time to reflect and map out dreams, nightmares, my fears and obsessions. The images sometimes repeat themselves, playing out different roles and interpreting the same meaning again and again – images from the stories I collect, my own and other people’s lives, from film, paintings, poems and myths.”
Cornelia O’Donovan was born in 1981 and trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Her paintings which are inspired by folklore and poetry have been exhibited widely and have also been used for exclusive collections of ceramics, fabrics and clothing for Anthropologie which have been on display throughout their stores in the UK and USA .
“Once she picks up a paintbrush, Cornelia is in a different world, layering colours and cutting and arranging shapes, to create flat paintings, stripped of all perspective and realism, which retells tales native to the British Isles. We were so taken with her work that we wanted a little piece of it for our own homes. We were delighted when she proposed a collection of ceramics for us that combines her love of colour, shape and the eccentricities of life with an everyday object.” Anthropologie
Cornelia’s paintings are in private collections around the world.
“Sometimes the impulse to paint is clearly defined and recognizable. It has form and colour, but may only be a very small thing – perhaps a relationship between two, seemingly insignificant, elements which create a certain tension by their juxtaposition.
Sometimes the impulse is to make a creative response to those small internal voices which cry out for expression from time to time. Sometimes its that ‘still small voice’ that carries a yearning. Sometimes its a cry from the depths of my being that can’t be ignored because of its sheer force and authority. Even if they are barely discernable sounds they can be the impulse to making the first marks, or, frequently, the ultimate marks of a painting.
Then there’s the moment in the making of a painting which is like the lifting of a mist, and everything becomes clear. The path can be seen, and although it may twist and turn, it is well defined. Here is my opportunity and I cannot afford to let this opportunity pass without discovering what the painting wants to be. It requires an intuitive response that has a particular knowing about it and generates a creative energy that is full of potential.
Now my mind needs to be open and trusting enough, alive to each of these moments, one following another, continually aware, ready and willing to respond to the changes that are made by each mark, as the spaces in the picture evolve.
Its like taking the picture on a walk, continually getting lost and then finding the way again. The end of the walk may not be the destination, but rather a port of call. And upon reaching it?….its time to continue walking.”
Born in Macclesfield in Cheshire in1955, Simon Pooley trained as an architect in London, qualifying in 1980. He practised in Sheffield for twelve years before moving, with his wife Hilary, to Cornwall in 1992 to paint full-time.
He works from a studio near Lamorna in Penwith just 8 miles from Lands End and shows in several galleries throughout the UK including London and Cornwall. His work has also been exhibited overseas. He is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists.
Oliver Teagle’s practice examines the physical process of painting, focusing on the application and materiality of the artwork. He paints between layers of thick glossy resin to create an enclosed three-dimensional surface. These layers of imagery are intertwined with notes, shapes, and scribbles, then repainted and deconstructed until they form a balanced and cohesive artwork. The juxtaposition of order and chaos within the work creates a visual tension between what is revealed and what is left concealed.
Oliver’s achievements include winning the Wessex Artist award at the RWA, and the Evolver Arts Prize at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery. He graduated with a BA Fine Art degree from the University of Plymouth in 2004 and has exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the country ever since, including the RWA in Bristol and at the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.