Art and Photographic History Art Exhibition Reviews Penwith West Cornwall (and local history)

Krowji, Redruth,Kernow – Open Studios December 2014

Krowji-Xmas-OS-2014-low-res_0Linda Crane1Getting to Krowji on a Sunday in December by public transport is a time-consuming business. Servicing the railway and circuitous bus routes turn a simple trip into an epic voyage. At least it affords time to see more new supermarkets, innovative centres in Pool and glimpses of neo-classical architecture in the grand manner. The upper stories of the façades remind one of the prosperity of this area in its heyday.

Under reconstruction in Redruth
Under reconstruction in Redruth

Upon arrival, the bohemian atmosphere in The Melting Pot Cafe, the warmth and the leek and potato soup help to revive after the lengthy journey. The wall of clocks and masques and surreal paraphernalia suggest that a cabaret is about to begin and indeed there is a pianist in cap and bells already upon the stage. This has a timeless and dreamy ambience quite unique and sui generis.
Part image -Linda Crane
Part image -Linda Crane

Moving around the crowded studios, there was a buzz which always seems stronger here where the art is being produced than visiting a gallery. I was particularly attracted to the work of Linda Crane -printmaking and painting but also small sculptures -including a small head which I thought reminiscent of Giacometti. The angular and elongated forms, the expressionist use of paint and the dramatic drawings were intriguing and attractive. My impression too was as though I felt a resonance both with Kokoschka and El Greco. Her work may be seen at and also at where I was surprised to read of her work being in Penzance at the Redwing Gallery.

Flower Studies by Linda Crane
Flower Studies by Linda Crane

I think the fact that her atelier was empty increased my fascination with her display and her portfolio.I think my recent travels may also have influenced my susceptibilities. It is also interesting to research the influence of El Greco on Expressionism- as in the recent exhibition El Greco und die Moderne.(Dusseldorf 2012


Art and Photographic History Poetry Uncategorized

Yeats and Yeats; The lake at Coole Park and the River Liffey in Dublin

The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B.Yeats 1917

Wild Swans

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

Upon the brimming water among the stones

Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;

I saw, before I had well finished,

All suddenly mount

And scatter wheeling in great broken rings

Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,

And now my heart is sore.

All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,

The first time on this shore,

The bell-beat of their wings above my head,

Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold

Companionable streams or climb the air;

Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,

Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,

Mysterious, beautiful;

Among what rushes will they build,

By what lake’s edge or pool

Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day

To find they have flown away?

The portrait of the poet above is by his brother Jack Butler Yeats. An interesting analysis  and exposition of this poem may be found at

With Olympics in the news at present it is interesting to read about the Silver Olympic Medal awarded to Jack Yeats. He thus became the first Irishman to win an Olympic Medal.

Silver Olympic Medal received by Jack B. Yeats

which can be found on the National Gallery, Dublin website at Here it mentions, “Jack B. Yeats (1871–1957) won this silver olympic medal for his painting ‘The Liffey Swim’  (NGI 941) in 1924.  Art competitions formed part of the modern Olympic Games during its early years, from 1912 to 1948 and medals were awarded for works of art inspired by sport.  Works were divided into five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.  The medals for the 1924 Olympic Games were designed by French medal artist André Adolphe Rivaud, (1892 – unknown).”

Jack Butler Yeats was strongly influenced by expressionism and was a friend of Samuel Beckett, J.M.Synge and the Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka. He was a magnificent painter of horses and Dublin life in the Liffey Swim (See There is also an engaging video at Here are just three paintings by Jack Yates:-

Baggot Street Bridge

Title:The Liffey Swim by Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)
Sketch of WBYeats