I’ve been lucky enough to have Ruth Shelley’s stunning kiln formed glass in every exhibition since The Byre opened in October 2013 – her work even featured on the first poster.
Last year Ruth, very deservedly, won the prestigious Glass Sellers’ Award at the Stourbridge International Biennale and since then her work has been in even more demand and now features in a number of the most notable galleries in Europe. I think Ruth’s work has continued to develop and each new collection seems even more vibrant and exquisitely crafted than the last; her collection for Pastures New is quite simply stunning.
I’m often asked how Ruth creates her work and I’m delighted that she’s a had short film made which explains the process far better than I can do – please click here to enjoy it.
The sun has been shining on Cornwall for the past few days – it was even warm enough to sit outside on Tuesday which was a great treat. From the vivid green fields bouncing with lambs, and the hawthorn bursting out in the hedgerows, to the sound of birdsong, these individual markers of the arrival of springtime are all around.
And in the gallery I’ve been thinking about how little things can make a real impact. While one large ceramic or glass piece can be a focal point in a room so too can a grouping of smaller individual pieces. In Pastures New, Suzanne Breakwell’s gorgeous bird sculptures have been much admired and I think they are so engaging because Suzanne manages to capture a real sense of personality in such small but wonderfully detailed pieces. The birds look beautiful on their own but also add something extra when placed beside other work – like a wedge of lime in a g&t they add an extra zing.
The same is true of Remon Jephcott’s very individual ceramic work and regular visitors to the The Byre will have enjoyed her ‘distressed’ apples and cherries in previous exhibitions. I love the sense of mischief in them: a cherry may look very pretty until you turn it over and see the mould, a tiny exquisite silver fly sits a top a decaying apple; wonderful.