I’d been told that one of the ‘must see’ art galleries in the west of Cornwall is the Fernlea Gallery in St Ives, the sister gallery to Marazion’s Market House Gallery.
While it is not the biggest artistic display space in Cornwall, the Fernlea Gallery packs a pretty punch when it comes to quality and quantity and an extremely broad range of artistic works. Director Joseph Blewett, who has managed the Fernlea Gallery since the day it opened back in March last year, has engineered the best use of space to the benefit of his artists. Thanks to this the spell of the artistic works is kept.
It is now twelve months on from that opening and the place has attracted a lot of attention thanks to the quality of the works exhibited. Walking into the gallery space one is almost overwhelmed by the stunning works on display, works like those of artist Mark Poprawski, who lives in St Ives, his beautiful, moody works are displayed near those of another well-known artist Ben Katt. Not far away is a piece by Tony Shiels, a complete contrast to those mentioned previously in that his work is bright and colourful provoking a different mood in the voyeur.
Fernlea Gallery, Joseph tells me, has a constantly changing exhibition of Post-War art, sculpture andceramics with several fantastic exhibitions planned for this year. As we walk around Joseph tells me a little about the different artists. There’s Australian born ceramacist Lincoln Kirby Bell’s gorgeous works just sitting there demanding attention. It is easy to see why the world class ceramicist, who is now a resident of Penzance, enjoys an ever increasing following amongst collectors.
I see work by Linda Weir, whose modernist, expressionist oil paintings capture glimpses of life around the harbours of St Ives and Mousehole in addition to the sea and landscapes of Zennor. A big favourite amongst visitors during the summer months.
There are also beautiful Troika, Tremaen, Studio Pottery and Leach Wares on display within the gallerie’s four walls. Like it’s Marazion based sister gallery, the Fernlea is a feast for the eyes. For the lay person or connoisseur, it is perhaps the place to begin any search for art works of taste and quality. Certainly it is worth a planned visit, definately it is one of the ‘must see’ places on any visitors to do list when visiting St Ives.
Want to see more like this?
Subscribe to myCornwall magazine here for the very best of Cornwall’s food, culture, events, art, heritage, personalities and places.