Porthmeor Studios is a unique complex of fishermen’s cellars and lofts, artists’ studios and the St Ives School of Painting. Of special interest, two artists, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004), Studio 1 (1945-63) and Sandra Blow RA (1925-2006) Studio 9 (1995-2001) are both represented in New Hall Art Collection and worked from these large, painting studios which have been in continuous use since the 1800’s. Of note, the New Zealander, Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947) is believed to have occupied Studio 7 from 1914-18 where Wardman’s art practice has been based since 2007. This exhibition of recent drawings form new interconnections and a synthesis with artists associated with Cambridge and St Ives, Cornwall.
Wardman is currently a research student at University College Falmouth; her practice is an enquiry in painting and drawing which considers the notion of fragment as a generative phenomenon. The resulting abstract image is a material interplay between loci and her experiential studio practice. She is interested in the series as an open ended or unfinished form to express time and infolding processes. The exhibition of works on paper consists of last year’s studio investigation into the movement of natural light and shadow realised through a methodology that is both reflexive and open to change. A theme of Classicism in Nature is explored in text in the smaller series ‘Leda’ and ‘Zeus’ whilst the large phenomenological drawings explore scale and temporality. Studio context is a modality she particularly enjoys with echoes of previous activity and events in an encapsulation of marks and paint patinas on the walls and floors. In all these works, the physical parameters are kept open where residual materials become a continuum of the drawing and ‘weathering’ what is absented is as important as what is presented.
A major renovation project at the studios (started in 2010) is due to complete in October. The works on show at Murray Edwards College will be part of this new phase for these historic working spaces. www.bsjwtrust.co.uk www.porthmeorstudios.com www.robertson-wardman.co.uk