There And Back Again at the Penwith Gallery,St.Ives.

Through June the Penwith Gallery is hosting an exhibition of new paintings by Robert Jones, alongside Kerry Harding and Marion Taylors’ show, ‘There and Back Again.’ Robert Jones’s atmospheric and distinctively styled oil paintings of coastal seascapes and motifs (prices range from £420 – £4200.) benefit from having their own separate space – The Studio Gallery. There is a problem however – a paucity of information; the visitor is left in the dark as to what is going on; there was nothing that obviously and clearly delineated or introduced either the members’ work, or Harding and Taylors’ exhibition. The main room and café area feature an eclectic, high quality, often classical, mix of members’ paintings, sculpture, prints and ceramics. Much is reasonably priced; e.g. £48 for an unframed Susi Gutierrez screen print, ‘B’; in fact, there are quite a few affordable, sometimes quirky, gems on offer. At the high end a beautiful Chris Buck bronze, ‘Only Ordinary Men’ (£3,350) or Luke Frost’s cool ‘Pale Brilliant Blue Volts’ (£3400). Marion Taylor’s ‘Toxic, Dark Water. Hong Kong’ paintings (£1100 – £4500) accurately evoke their title; they sit alongside her ‘New Zealand Journeys’ installation (£6000, or, £300 per panel), which strikingly utilizes the artist’s photographs of New Zealand as supports for oil paintings. Kerry Harding’s haunting, often both ethereal and surreal, land and seascapes, many of which reference the local area, provoke unique imagined narratives in the mind’s eye (£1500 – £4000).

Guy Barkley-Smith Plymouth College of Art

Volume 30 number 6, July / August 2016 p 40

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