A new joint exhibition in Torre Abbey, The Artists of St Ives and the Torbay Artists’ Collective, is something anyone with an interest in art would be mad to miss.
I went along and was amazed at the range of art on display – and by the quality, too, of so much of it, our local artists as well as some major Twentieth Century names.
The Artists of St Ives in the museum itself includes some intriguing small-scale pieces by the likes of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth alongside, for example, a striking post-cubist piece by Patrick Heron.
Meanwhile, in the Spanish Barn the work ranges from minutely exact representational painting to abstract and abstract-expressionist, playing with form, shape and colour. Landscapes and seascapes are hung alongside geometric patterns of striking colour, like Nora Doherty’s vibrant shades of blues. I was particularly struck – as were plenty of others – by Justin Williams’ delightfully realised and evocative paintings of Spanish street scenes. I spoke to Justin’s father who, with charming self-deprecation, told me he was surprised at people’s responses to his son’s work as it was, he reckoned, so ‘low key’: in fact that’s part of the impressionistic paintings’ appeal, I think – their subdued, quietly toned exactness.
Again, if you haven’t seen the exhibitions, and if, like me, you sometimes feel starved of new art to enjoy in the Bay, hurry along to the Spanish Barn in particular: I really can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.
Bob Jope HEALTHWATCH TORBAY
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