The Outsider

Russell Gallery - February 2015



The Outsider

For many years I have lived and worked in Cornwall and like a lot of Cornish Painters, I am an outsider looking in.

All Celtic communities retain a certain character of independence and after living here for a while, you realise that Kernow really does belong to the Cornish.

Living as an outsider can give rise to a type of solitary diffidence, not only from being alien to Cornwall’s traditions and way of life but also from its dark and rugged landscape. It is a landscape that evokes timelessness and takes the mind from itself, leaving only the moment.

This ephemeral sense of being an outsider gives way to all the minutiae and eccentricities of everyday life, from a Pylon stood in a daisy field to a farmer standing in a modern shopping mall. The small villages huddled into cliffs, semi circling around the sea like amphitheaters, lull the mind into believing you are in another time. It is little wonder that artists for nearly a hundred years have relocated here.                                                               

Over the years, painters from Margaret Mellis to William Scott have translated this primordial county into shapes and symbols, symbols which have now become synonymous with the Cornish Art Scene.

The title of this show isn’t just about objective alienation; it also refers to me as a painter. One who is predominantly self- taught and to be found somewhere outside of the artistic establishment.

The ‘Outsider’s’ pallet travels through the changing colours and tones of three seasons. The red hot summer with its cadmium sun, autumn’s translucence and the sedentary grays of winter.

This exhibition is a celebration of enduring shapes and the residual legacy bequeathed by those creative outsiders, who were once looking out and into this enigmatic land.