Once again it’s time for a new look at The Byre as we get ready for the summer exhibition – Out of the Picture. It’s goodbye to the green of Pastures New and ‘hello’ to a wonderful deep turquoise.
I’m lucky to have an intern working with me for this exhibition – Summer Varley – so while Summer got to work spray painting some old picture frames (all will be revealed when the show opens!) I got to unpack some boxes of exciting new work.
Like these beautiful coloured ceramic pieces by Lucy Burley
And elegant porcelain work by Kathryn Hearn
Lots to look forward to at The Byre this summer – exhibition opens, 16th July. Look forward to seeing you there.
It really doesn’t seem that long ago since I was writing about painting the gallery walls a vibrant green in preparation for the spring exhibition, and now it’s the last few days of Pastures New.
It’s been a fantastic couple of months in the gallery; as ever I’ve loved being surrounded by beautiful works: Ellen Woods’ stunning ceramic bodices and glass by Ruth Shelley and Catriona MacKenzie have been especial favourites. It’s also been wonderful to see so many of The Byre’s loyal and regular visitors and to meet new friends who’ve found The Byre for the first time. Thank you to you all for your support, there are still a few days left to see Pastures New if you haven’t made it along yet – or would like to re-visit.
Ruth Shelley glass vessel
The Byre’s summer exhibition, Out of the Picture, opens on 16th July and runs until 11th September. So as well as having some time off I’ll be spending the next few weeks getting ready for that and trying to see the work of as many new makers as possible at degree shows, open studios and craft fairs. A number of makers who’ve shown at The Byre, including Claire Crompton, Jane Crisp and Tracey Falvey are taking part in this year’s Contemporary Craft Fair at Bovey Tracey in Devon from the 10th to 12th of June so if you are in the area, this is another opportunity to see their work.
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.