A new exhibition of paintings at The Bay Penzance
This new exhibition of work by Christine Allen and Jan Phethean explores the Cornish word ‘Gossen’, Cornish for ‘ferruginous valley’. The two painters have very differing approaches to the subject, Allen’s work is based on abstract reflection with figurative references, Phethean’s work is figurative based on abstract principles. Both painters use vibrant colour and layers of texture as the mainstay of their painting practise, but that is where the similarities end. Both artists have a love of landscape deeply resonant in all their work.
Allens studio is situated near the mining works of Porthtowan where the red earth in the valley leading down to the beach clearly shows the traces left by the mining industry of the late Victorian era. It is this landscape that informs her painting practice literally as she includes pigments from the mining soils in Boscastle which she has sourced and ground herself.
Phetheans studio is based on the south east coast at Porthleven harbourside, where just inland there is a gentler landscape reflecting an agricultural heritage spanning aeons. Ancient field systems, wildlife and trees are woven into each of her paintings to reflect the fractal patterns of nature both large and small.
This exhibition seeks to express the intangible essence of the Cornish heritage and landscape with a sense of place and moment in time.