Having shown Ruth Shelley’s stunning glass in every exhibition since The Byre opened in October 2013, I think I’m a pretty good judge of her work. I’ve loved each new collection but with Peace of Mwnt for Out of The Woods, I think Ruth has excelled herself; her colour combination and the quality of each piece is quite simply stunning. Her vessels look amazing in sunlight and work so well with other glass, such as Cat Mackenzie’s elegant vase pictured here, as well as ceramic pieces. At the 2015 International Glass Biennale, Ruth was awarded the Glass Sellers’ Maker Award; her new work has been accepted for this year’s event which is held at the end of August and, having had a quick preview, I feel sure it will net her another award.
Ali Tomlin Porcelain vases
Another highlight of any exhibition at The Byre is of course ceramics. I’ve long admired the timeless elegance of Ali Tomlin’s beautiful porcelain work and am thrilled to be able to feature her in Out of the Woods. From simple jugs and single stem vases to larger statement pieces, the craftsmanship, style and gracefulness of Ali’s work shines through; not to be missed.
When an exhibition is called Out of the Woods it is perhaps not surprising that trees and wood feature among the art and craft on display – both as subject matter and raw material.
Each of Kerry Harding’s stunning paintings for Out of the Woods feature a tree in some form, often distorted by the effects of the weather. Kerry is drawn to the scenery around her home in west Cornwall and delights in capturing the way that the violence of the elements can soften even the hardest of parts of landscape. Kerry almost mirrors the effects of nature in her work as she often removes paint to get the effect she desires: with only the memory of the paint her trees look wonderfully wind swept. The universal appeal of Kerry’s impressive work has won her clients across the world – who have never felt the force of a Cornish wind!
From the south west of England to Kirkcudbrightshire in the south west of Scotland where Lizzie Farey has her own willow field where she grows the raw material for her baskets and sculptural work (pictured below) Lizzie spends six weeks every winter cutting down the willow before letting it dry out for six months; once dry it is soaked in a cattle trough, then allowed to ‘mellow’ before it is finally ready to be used. Her extremely elegant work is constructed entirely traditionally without wire, nails or glue; the resulting work is stunning and it’s little wonder that it features in a number of notable public and private collections.
After a few months hibernating, The Byre is now open for spring with our new exhibition: Out of the Woods. As ever an exhibition at The Byre features a mix of work from ‘regulars’ and introduces makers new to the gallery. For Out of the Woods I’m delighted to welcome Cornwall based fine artist, Kerry Harding whose stunning paintings add such impact to the exhibition; hanging alongside Kerry’s work are the vibrant woodcut prints of Sarah Morris which brilliantly capture the rich hues of the Devon countryside where Sarah lives, works and cycles!
Working in wood can produce such incredibly different results: Sally Burnett’s delicate vessels seem to defy the solidity of the medium; while Lizzie Farey’s willow pieces offer supple elegance, Sam Harrison’s work in sycamore and oak perfectly retain the memory of the living tree. On a much smaller scale, Lisa Henshall’s beautiful rings and earrings are paintings in miniature on wooden jewellery. From wood to wire and beyond: Ruth Bateman’s delightful sculptures of hares beautifully capture the movement and character of these wonderful creatures; and textile designer Katie Wallis finds inspiration for her highly desirable cushions and scarves from other wonderful creatures: bees and peacocks. In ceramics, Ali Tomlin is a maker I’ve long admired and I’m delighted to finally have her elegant pieces in Out of the Woods.
Corvus Nero by Sally Burnett, tea cup by Remon Jephcott, ceramic vases and bowl by Ali Tomlin, Textile Flora by Claire Crompton and earrings by Anna Pope
I’m also very pleased to welcome back to The Byre ceramicists Lucy Burley, Paul Cardew, Jill Holland, Remon Jephcott, and Hugh Maitland Perry; glass artists Cat MacKenzie, Charlotte Sale and Ruth Shelley; and jewellery designers Tracey Falvey, Anna Pope and Lucy Spink.
Out of The Picture is now over – after a hugely successful run. Fantastic to welcome so many new visitors to The Byre and to see familiar faces; I am touched and delighted by the loyalty of my clients. Look forward to seeing you all in November for All That Glitters.