We've got a wonderful year of exhibitions planned for 2023 - in the gallery and online, and here is a taste of what's in store for spring and summer.
The first exhibition I'm curating this year isn't at the Byre Gallery but at Ocean Studio's in Plymouth's Royal William Yard. David Muddyman, one of our lovely gallery artists, sadly died in March last year after a short illness. Dave's distinctive abstract watercolours featured regularly in our exhibitions from 2019 until his death, and he won a legion of fans and collectors - from Newquay to New York city and many points in between.
I was honoured to be asked by Val Muddyman, Dave's widow, to curate this exhibition of his work which includes some pieces never previously exhibited that were only completed shortly before Dave became ill. I hope you can join us at Ocean Studios from 7th to 19th March.
Up The Garden Path, our spring exhibition which opens at the Byre on 1st April, kicks off the year in the gallery. Two of our regular gallery artists Sophie Harding and Jill Hudson are joined by Lucy Innes Williams who is showing her elegant floral studies at the Byre for the first time.
With a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art, Lucy returned to full-time painting after a decade-long career working in exhibitions and artist management for a number of public and private art collections.
Lucy’s paintings are rooted deeply in her own personal associations to nature: the more blousy a flower is, the more Lucy is moved to paint it. The moment of explosion of petals, colour and scent are her real sweet spots. Coastal path walks along the cliffs of west Cornwall and the busy borders of English country gardens are source of inspirations for her beautiful floral works.
We're delighted that another Lucy, our gallery ceramicist Lucy Burley, has created a new collection of vases and jugs especially for the exhibition.
Fellow ceramicist Heidi Harrington, whose work I first saw at Ceramic Art London in 2022 and immediately fell in love with, is showing her work in the exhibition too.
The exhibition will, as ever, also feature stunning jewellery from our regular jewellery designers and other contemporary craft delights - including some sumptuous handwoven linen scarves from Teresa Dunne; perfect for spring.
Summer kicks off in June with the first of three exhibitions: High Days and Holidays features a brand new collection of paintings by Siobhan Purdy - many based on her travels around our beautiful Rame Peninsula last summer:
Siobhan is joined by fellow Cornwall based artist Philip Lyons whose debut at the Byre in summer 2022 won him many fans and admirers.
We'll also have ceramics, glass and of course jewellery from existing and new makers.
Another welcome return in July as artists Imogen Bone and Steven Buckler come together in In My View, an exhibition of Rame Peninsula landscapes. Steven grew up in South East Cornwall so is no stranger to the beaches, estuaries and woodlands of our corner of the county; Imogen has only known the peninsula for a few years - being introduced to it by Jill Hudson as they undertook a sketching tour for their 2022 exhibition Walking Distance - but for this exhibition they will introduce each other to their favourite places.
Complementing their paintings will be a host of contemporary craft including ever popular ceramicist Judy McKenzie who returns with a new collection of her stunning Nerikomi porcelain work.
The final summer exhibition which opens on the 8th of August is On the Horizon a mixed show featuring new work from many of our favourite artists and makers - including paintings from Katy Brown, Heath Hearn, Jill Hudson and Alice Robinson-Carter, glass from Benjamin Lintell, ceramics from Lucy Burley and jewellery from Laila Smith. We're also excited to introduce Cornish artist Natalie Day who is showing at the Byre for the first time; her semi-abstract contemporary work offers us richly textured landscapes to escape into and are sure to prove hugely popular.