‘Drawing From Rocks: An Exhibition of Experimental Ink Drawings’ is my first solo exhibition at The Terrace Gallery in my home town of Penryn, Cornwall.
I was so excited when I discoverd that the little shopfront in my own high street was going to be a gallery with artists studios upstairs. It is a small but perfectly formed space. Sam and Dave took the gallery on at the beginning of 2020 and have transformed it into a beautiful little space for local artists to exhibit and all those interested in the arts to enjoy as well as take part in workshops. These will resume as soon as the current pandemic allows.
All the drawings in this exhibition were made one hot July day in 2019: drawing outside sitting on the rocks of the Island in St. Ives. Originally a fortified headland, it is not an island at all but rather a grassy peninsular sandwiched between Porthmeor Beach and Porthgwidden Beach with the iconic St. Nicholas Chapel set on top of it.
It had been a long time since I’d been outside sketching but from time to time I feel the need to go and look and draw, studying and translating what I see into marks on paper. It seems to re-boot something in my brain this process, sparking new creative ideas. So the drawings in this exhibition will be a starting point to make new paintings.
There is something about the process of drawing from observation that is intensely absorbing. I find the act of looking really allows for a kind of creative meditation and I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed it: its calm, its focus and its revelations. It brings a state of both awareness and curiosity as well as suprise.
I had taken with me just ink and brushes and a little watercolour sketchbook. I sat happily on those baking, low, dark rocks all afternoon, mesmerised by the sound of the sea, the shapes and patterns in the rocks and on their surfaces: Seaweed, lichen and the remnants of years of natural erosion but also the marks left from years of mining possibly.
I found out later that there had been a mine on that site. In the 18th Century Battery Mine produced tin there as the green stone had lodes running through it and the whole of the Island (also known as St. Ives Head) exhibits evidence of ancient mining all along its north shore.
Looking leads to curiosity and as long as I’m curious, I will feel the need to draw.
Because of the current corona outbreak, the gallery is temporarily closed and the exhibition has moved online for the time being. All the work is available to view here at The Terrace Gallery.
The online exhibition runs 16 April – 7 June 2020.
The Terrace Gallery
65 The Terrace