Cypher Exhibition at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance. 27 January – 4 February 2018. Blog article by Kari Herbert.
A journal lies open on a low wooden bench, pages sliced and bristling, arched in disarray; beside it stand two large canvases, with masked, loosely-drawn figures emerging from layers of newsprint and bold washes of colour. Here in the upstairs Reading Room at Tremenheere, the creative process of thirteen visual artists is revealed: delicately-handled watercolours; a scatter of large studies; sketchbooks brimming with collage and dynamic drawings; paintings in boxes. These fragments give a glimpse of the workings of the creative impulse – thoughts explored and assembled during the year-long Professional Practice Programme at the Newlyn School of Art.
Downstairs, the Cypher exhibition showcases the artists’ finished contemporary artworks in the form of installation, projection, video, sound, drawing, painting, photography and collaborative works. A screen by artists Jo Jewers and Otter Johns is emblazoned with graffiti and haunting painted figures ; a video installation by Mike Thorpe plays with the idea of lost spaces, light and darkness; Trudy Montgomery’s large cprints on aluminium inject vibrant colour into the space; Sally Wyatt’s suspended mixed media sculpture ‘Ediacaran’ turns gently, inviting and curious.
During the show many of the artists will be available to discuss the artworks and the public are welcome to join them and the curators over two weekends of interactive discussions and talks.
“Often visitors to an exhibition are left wondering how an artist came to decide what to create,” said Jesse Leroy Smith, mentor and curator. “Unusually, Cypher includes a Reading Room as a kind of R&D lab, inviting viewers to explore the thinking behind how the art exhibited downstairs evolved from concept and sketch to finished artwork. The Walk & Talk and Symposium weekends extend this further by giving visitors access to the artists and opportunities to learn about how and why the art was made.”
‘This year of working toward the independently curated show has been a fantastic exercise in zeroing in on what we are about and who we are as artists,’ says Jill Bevan. ‘From the outset we knew we were working towards an exhibition here at Tremenheere, so in many ways that informed the way in which we worked. More than anything, it has helped us clarify and consolidate our style and practice, and that really has been invaluable.’
Henry Garfit, Director of Newlyn School of Art says of the show… ‘For the past year, the students have worked together with the support of the art school towards this artist-led exhibition in a public space. It is the first anniversary of the new gallery at Tremenheere being opened and Cypher is a great example of what an important addition the gallery is for the artists who live and work in Cornwall. This exhibition is a good example of what the space can allow and how work can be selected, curated and shown in a way that doesn’t have to conform to commercial gallery formats, enabling artists and curators to be more inventive with the use of space and to show work in a way that challenges the viewer and is sympathetic to the intentions of the artist‘.
Of this exhibition, Tremenheere Sculpture Garden founder Dr Neil Armstrong, says, “We have been exhibiting large scale and outdoor sculpture by Internationally renowned artists at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens for some years now and last year we built an art gallery to extend our artistic programme and showcase the creative talent of contemporary artists working in Cornwall. We are excited to welcome Cypher as the first artist-led exhibition to be staged in partnership with Newlyn School of Art which will be held on the one year anniversary of the opening of the gallery.”
The show opens on 26 January from 5-8pm at Tremenheere and runs until 4 February.
A series of talks and discussions are also offered over the exhibition weekends. All are welcome at the following events, which are free of charge:
Opening / Private View: 5-8pm on Friday 26 January.
Artist Talks: 11am-4pm w/e of 27/28 January
Symposium of Talks: 11am-4pm w/e of 3/4 February
at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Nr Penzance
27 January – 4 February 2018.
Curators: Dr Ryya Bread, curatorial director of Kestle Barton Rural Centre, Jessica Cooper and Jesse Leroy Smith, artists.
Artists: Jill Bevan, Kathryn Campbell, Dana Finch, Jo Jewers, Tanya Krzywinska, Clive Matthews, Daun Marshall, Trudy Montgomery, Michelle Ohlson, Otter Rose, Mike Thorpe, Hils Tranter and Sally Wyatt.