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St Ives: Connecting Circles

[ Exhibition )

Gouache painting by William Scott of blue, black and white shapes on a pale blue background.

William Scott, Pale Linear Still Life, 1975, gouache on paper, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Gift from a Private Collection – Promised as a Future Bequest 2016) © The estate of William Scott

The small Cornish harbour town of St Ives has always attracted artists because of its exceptional light and dramatic surrounding countryside.

But in the mid-20th century, it became more than a seaside retreat. It became a centre for modern art.

Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson moved there at the outbreak of the Second World War. They were later joined by others including William Scott, Patrick Heron, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Terry Frost and Denis Mitchell.

St Ives and its surrounding landscape had a lasting impact on the artistic development of these artists. The artistic community that evolved during this period saw a network of personal and creative relationships develop that were as vital as they were fractious. The artists’ work shared a consideration for the expressive use of line, form and colour, and a balance between representation and abstraction. Alongside prints, drawings and sculpture, this exhibition also presents ceramics by potters Bernard Leach and Janet Leach.

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