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Jacy Wall, Jenny Graham, Lucy Large

Jacy Wall: Little Shadow Monster 2020 Ceramic, metal

When the Shippon Gallery reopens, hopefully in Spring 2022, our first exhibition will be by three artists who live in a neighbouring county and participated in the project Somerset Reacquainted. This sought to capture the essence of a rural county in lockdown and to reflect and communicate the experience of isolation. All three made experimental work based on detailed, intimate observations from daily walks that Spring.

Jacy, whose home overlooks the Axe Valley, became obsessed by the strong shadows cast in her path during a sunny April. Jenny, who lives on the Levels beside the River Parrett, focused on the qualities of the ground. Lucy, who lives in West Somerset near Watchet, mused on footpath signage and unexpected colours interrupting the woodland.

JENNY GRAHAM: Unknown 2020 Flowerheads, mistletoe, blackthorn

Some outcomes of this time were exhibited at the Glastonbury Rural Life Museum in September 2020 in an exhibition of 60 artists. These three felt they understood each other’s sensibilities about the ways they work and have, as they say, “been in conversation about pushing the improvisations we made into new directions”.

LUCY LARGE: Untitled 2020 Driftwood, paper, paint

Jacy’s principal medium is textiles, Jenny’s painting and Lucy’s sculpture but all work in a wide range of processes including printmaking, photography, ceramics and paper-cutting. A selection of the results from the forthcoming period of experimentation will be on view at the Shippon Gallery in a show that will be open on request. For more information, visit the artists’ websites: http://www.jacywall.co.uk http://www.jennygraham.co.uk http://lucylargeart.com

Lanyon_Alfred Wallis with the wreck of the Alba (1)

ANDREW LANYON: A DINNER-GONG IN THE JUNGLE

Cornish painter, author and filmmaker Andrew Lanyon takes humour seriously.  Writing about laughter he said, “Maybe it used to be an alarm, a dinner-gong in the jungle, one sounded to draw the rest of the tribe close to protect us from predators while we devoured the beast we’d just clubbed to death.”     His distinctive form of whimsical surrealism, expressed in illustrated books and small paintings, can be experienced in this intriguing display.

Lanyon’s trajectory of interests took him from conjuring at 7, via photography and filmmaking, to a preoccupation with humour. “I suppose magic tricks and comedy both ‘pull the wool’,” he says. ”So maybe I’ve been going from an external deceit to an internal one, from sleight of hand to sleight of mind.”

His narrative paintings often feature a cast of characters associated with his home town of St Ives in the 1920s and 30s, although scenarios are fictitious. In one of Lanyon’s best known images, fisherman-turned-painter Alfred Wallis “discovers” artists Ben Nicholson and Kit Wood rather than them noticing him in his cottage, as their meeting in 1928 is usually presented. Wallis lived yards from where the steamer SS Alba was wrecked and a new painting (above) depicts him peering at it over a wall.

Lanyon’s primary concern is now with a type of humour that can perhaps be most easily expressed by writing: “I want people’s mascara to run so they can’t read the book on the train.” But he continues to paint and explains why with the analogy of the moment of release of a glider from its towrope: “One experiences a dramatic silence…  the serenity is tangible. One never achieves that elevated calm when landing back on the noisy tarmac of text.” This display, which it is hoped will follow on from Found in the late summer of 2022, will give an insight into Andrew Lanyon’s perceptive take on today’s world and the past.

Top image: Alfred Wallis with the Wreck of the Alba (31st January 1938) 2017 – 19

Below: The First Notes Fell Like Snowflakes 2017 – 19   Lanyon_The First notes fell like snow flakes (2)