As the major redevelopment continues apace at Kettle’s Yard, it has given the gallery an opportunity to focus attention on some of the key artists in the collection there. Following their examination into the work of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, this month sees the start of an exhibition devoted to the work of a very different, but similarly unique, artist – Alfred Wallis.
Alfred Wallis was one of the most remarkable artists of the 20th Century. The Cornish native took up painting late in life following the death of his wife, having been a mariner and fisherman. He used ordinary household oil paint in a limited supply of colours on found bits of card, to create works that he described as: “more experiences and events than paintings.”
Jim Ede, the founder of Kettle’s Yard, became an enthusiastic collector of his work following a trip to St Ives where he and Christopher Wood had encountered Wallis’ paintings by chance. This display is a new selection of about 40 paintings of his main subject: assorted marine vessels and crews, depicted on unpredictable seas. Some paintings have been moved from the part of the Kettle’s Yard House currently closed due to building work, others are usually in store and rarely seen.
Alfred Wallis: Ships and Boats, Saturday 7 April-Sunday 8 July. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, T: 01223 748100