First Fruits of Autumn
As we bite into early local apples, it is time for the summer exhibition to come off our walls and make way for a show of mainly still life works in an exhibition entitled The Art of Silence. Krisnamurthi said When the mind is utterly still without being forced or trained into quiescence, when it is silent because the self is inactive, then there is creation.
Despite its long intertwining with the history of art and its currents of wealth, religion, patronage and power, still life is perhaps overly-familiar as a genre amid the tumult of modern life, and is often served cold and hyper-real. There has, to say the least, been an evolution in the art world in terms of medium, subject matter and concept. Our modern digital age makes an artist like, say, Helen Simmonds seem something of a revolutionary. She paints mainly seasonal flowers and blossoms from her own garden, and her paintings are of a stunning simplicity and restrained delicacy. As she puts it herself, her paintings are an act of hope, and embody an ongoing attempt to lead a kinder, more responsive life, jettisoning all that is superfluous and keeping in focus the critical elements of connection. And oh my how they do just that.
The Art of Silence
11 September to 7 October Opening on 9 September 6-8 p.m.
Jo Barrett, Alex Callaway, Comhghall Casey, Mark Entwisle, Nathan Ford, Atsuko Fujii, Katherine Jackson, Jennifer McRae, Rob Pittam, Harriet Porter, Helen Simmonds, Lotta Teale, Estelle Vera, Simon Wright.
Home is where one starts from. As we grow olderthe world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and living. Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment And not the lifetime of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered. There is a time for the evening under starlight, A time for the evening under lamplight (The evening with the photograph album). Love is most nearly itself When here and now cease to matter. Old men ought to be explorers Here or there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.” – From T S Eliot Four Quartets
Rugby fans, of which I believe there are one or two about this parish, will know that the Rugby World Cup is coming up, and, or so I am lead to believe by the rugby afficionados, Ireland are all but certain to lift the trophy. It is only fitting therefore to have fellow exile Jack Doherty on hand to celebrate the impending shamrock-laden victory, the greatest international triumph since Johnny Logan won Eurovision.
Jack’s work explores the ancient layers of cultural resonance embedded within archetypal forms. Made from porcelain, the vessels are thrown then carved and shaped reflecting the fluidity of the material and physicality of making. The elemental colour and surface texture are created by the fusion of fire and soda in the intense heat of the kiln, leaving behind a subtle palette of charcoal, russet and turquoise. On many levels, the pots are figurative; each has its own character, particular emotional range and response.
Born in Co Derry, Jack trained in Ceramics at the Ulster College of Art and Design, Belfast. He worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops before establishing his first studio in Co. Armagh and then in Herefordshire. Jack moved to Cornwall in 2008 to take up the role as Lead Potter at the restored Leach Pottery setting up the new production studio. During the five years in post there he designed a successful range of functional ware which respected the ethic and history of the pottery but which also had its place in a contemporary market. In the Gallery space he curated a series of ceramic exhibitions illustrating the development of studio ceramic practice showcasing work by leading potters in both a historical and contemporary context.
Jack’s pots have been exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally. He was Chair of the Craft Potters’ Association for 10 years, a founder and current Chair of Ceramic Art London and from 2008 – 2013, and is the first Lead Potter and Creative Director of the Leach Pottery. Jack’s work was short-listed for the prestigious Loewe prize in 2020.
11 September to 7 October . Opening on 9 September 6-8 p.m.
And has Jack hails from County Derry, so did the poet whose tenth anniversary is today. Can it really be a decade since we lost him?Digging by Seamus Heaney
And finally, a painting from our forthcoming exhibition The Art of Silence, precedeed by an old favourite..The shells are elaborate and curious Like human thought, and yet not thoughts of ours. A young boy searched them out on an island’s shores Where shells so perfect are not plentiful, And in a carton, wrapped in cotton wool, Sent them through air across the world to us, Knowing that, settled far inland, we still Love the sea’s gifts, complex and beautiful. This fact, this node of facts, in thought (like a shell In the hand) I hold – the boy on the shore, the sun On the wings of the mind-powered great machine homing in. Time yields its patterned shells, none, none identical. Waking in dark on the flat-lands of the night To sadness, or space too vast, I light this light: The boy designing our pleasure; and now, spread out On a tray, the shells from their journeying. One is a dawn that pales, One etched with finest fans on lapping scales, One whorled; orange and green seem hand-strewn over it. A Present of Sea Shells by E J Scovell
Thank you as always for reading.Please click on the images above for links to webpages. Contact the gallery by phone or email to purchase, or for any further information. We ship worldwide. Best wishes, Aidan