In the lead up to the festive season, we’re asking some of our artists and makers to choose their ‘Festive Four,’ four pieces from the gallery that they would love to see under their tree or to gift to their nearest and dearest. This week, artist Sophie Harding and ceramicist Hugh Perry share their choices: Sophie Harding
Sophie has shown her distinctive still lives, sea and landscapes at the Byre Gallery since spring 2019 and has quickly became a gallery favourite. For Winter at the Byre we’re delighted to be showing a wonderful collection of her new still lives, and you can see more of her work here. Sophie has worked full time as a painter, illustrator and textile maker since 1993. Working mainly from life as well as sketches and occasionally photographs, Sophie paints moments from her life: a collection of objects in the home, seasonal fruit and flowers, a morning spent on the beach or at a Cornish garden. By simplifying objects and scenes she aims to create feelings of joy, escapism, calm and stillness with a focus on the small and simple joys in life.
In addition to her paintings being shown in galleries throughout the UK, her illustrations can be seen in children’s magazines as well as on greetings cards, gift wrap and homewares in the UK and internationally. Since acquiring a rescue whippet four years ago, Sophie has worked with Just Whippets Rescue designing pieces especially for the charity. Sophie lives in Penzance and works at home in her tiny studio, five minutes away from the seafront.
Here are Sophie’s picks: Adrian Holmes: Asa Gohan The simplicity, soft palette and feel of this is very appealing. I was drawn to it as soon as I saw it and would gladly hang it on one of my walls. Raz Maker: Salad Servers Functional and beautiful! Like sculptures. I would hang these in on my slate blue wall in my kitchen. Hugh Perry: Small Pale Bowl [caption id="attachment_7918" align="alignnone" width="525"] I love this! The simplicity and shape. I would feature it in one of my still life paintings and display it on the mantelpiece.[/caption] Teresa Dunne: Rosehill scarf Beautiful colours which I find especially appealing as I love pinks and greens together. It’s a combination I often use in my own work. Hugh Perry
Hugh is a ceramicist based in south east Cornwall - and is one of our most local makers, living only a short way from the gallery - a journey he might make either by car, bike or motorcycle being an enthusiast of all three. Hugh’s work is hand thrown in stoneware with porcelain slips added whilst the clay is still green. During each stage brush strokes of oxide washes combined with wax resist are applied to the slip decoration. This process is further enabled by applying multiple porcelain glazes in a similar way. The firing causes the chemical reactions forming natural seams and textures; each vessel is unique. You can see more of his work here “I love making pots and living in Cornwall and I am trying to represent Cornwall’s raw elements in my new work. I imagined, perhaps like a classical musician considering how to play jazz, that following my instincts would be better than concerning myself with my usual process to explore this. You know all the notes and scales, just relax, don’t worry. Play your moment, it will be different each time. Create freedom from the discipline. Trust in the process is the mantra. I hope the pieces give that look and feel."
Here are Hugh’s picks: Teresa Dunne: Trewindle. All Teresa’s scarves are lovely but I especially love the beautiful detail and colours in this one. Beverly Bartlett: DNA unzipped studs with stones. Organic shapes that are very feminine. David Muddyman: Rame Across The Sound Rame Head is captured frequently by artists and I was really drawn to this very unique but engaging style. Siobhan Purdy: Crabby Lady Lovely humour but the Crabby Lady has a look that tells me more is at stake; very Cornish somehow! We'll have more picks from another two of our artists next week...