We were thrilled that Morna Rhys came into the Gallery today to deliver some more of her unique etchings. On her regular trips to Cornwall she spends her free moments capturing the atmosphere of the local landscapes in her exquisite and detailed etchings. We are delighted to announce that a selection of her prints will soon be available to purchase online via our website. Until then we have her work, mounted or framed, available in the gallery.
Painter Ali Cockrean will never forget Sunday, June 3, 2012. It was then that she stood on the Millennium Bridge by St Paul’s Cathedral, waiting eagerly for the start of the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. One of twenty artists commissioned by the BBC to capture the event in paint, she recalls: “It was one of the best seats in the house.”
With TV Presenter Anneka Rice charting the artists’ progress as they prepared for what was to come, all work ceased when the flotilla of more than a thousand vessels of all shapes and sizes came into view. As she says: “From the royal barge to the bells of St Paul’s, it was spellbinding, and my painting was simply about being there. Even the rain was forgotten, but it couldn’t wash away the images on my head.”
The painting she made that day, Diamond Jubilee River, is now the centrepiece of an exhibition called Chasing Waves at the Alverton Gallery in Penzance.
Ali Cockrean graduated from Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design and the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the early 1980s, yet still she maintains that she is a largely self-taught artist. She pursued a successful career in marketing for almost twenty years prior to devoting all her time and energy into an even more successful career as a professional painter and art tutor. A member of the National Acrylic Painters Association and Buckinghamshire Fine Art Society, she has exhibited extensively from Cork Street, Mayfair and the Mall galleries in London to any number of counties from Surrey to Staffordshire, but this is her first solo show in Cornwall. Like so many other artists she had been a regular visitor to Cornwall for several years, and last year was at last able to cross the Tamar and drop anchor, as it were, at Whitecross near Penzance.
An expressionist land and seascape painter, she has loved drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Talking about her approach to art, she said: “Making art requires creativity, inspiration and technique. You have to be prepared to work outside your comfort zone all the time. That way you continue to grow and develop as an artist and constantly produce new and innovative work. I prefer to work entirely from memory, choosing not to jog my recollections of places by sketching, looking at photographs or taking notes. Spontaneity is crucial, it creates the energy and captures the spirit of place. I hugely enjoy the roller-coaster of a painting as it ebbs and flows to completion, hence the title of this show Chasing Waves.”
From Harbour Mouth and Castle Mooring to Awaiting Calmer Waters and Waiting in the Boat, she captures the waves she chases in acrylic expressionist studies filled with hints of places from Hayle to Mousehole to St Michael’s Mount, that are as searching as they are satisfying. She avoids direct representation of place like the plague, and opts instead for aura and atmosphere, the feel of the moment, and the resulting sense of mystery is magnetic.
Ali Cockrean’s Chasing Waves, plus her royal river pageant painting, can be seen in the Alverton Gallery in Penzance from 9.30 to 5 pm, Tuesday to Saturday, until April 15. Ali Cockrean also works with aspiring artists, gives talks and tutors adults and children.