Leach Pottery and Anima Mundi in St Ives, 29 June – 11 August 2019

Andile Dyalvane has been in residence at the Leach Pottery in St.Ives,, Cornwall, UK and his work is seen there before he returns to South Africa. He was at the private view, resplendent and expansive, shaking hands with everyone and wearing African looking face paint. His pots resemble him in being robust and dark with surprising vibrant touches of blue or red. The forms included folded vessels, layers of clay, lumpy additions, an applied little house, a drawn water bird. There are frills, cuts, textures, all heavy looking.
Also a surprise were the prices from £350 to over £10,000.
Down in the town from 15th June to 19th July there is a Trevor Bell solo show at Anima Mundi, the artist having sadly died in 2017 aged 87. Here the paintings are surprising in not being rectangular. These abstract compositions could be inspired by places or weather or simply from intuitive painting with titles added later.
The artist liked purples, greys and sandy yellows with matt surfaces. The gallery assistant tells me Trevor Bell experimented with paper shapes to determine the forms and arrangements. Then canvas is stretched on a wooden framework.
Here also the prices are substantial, from £5,400 to £64,800. The works are large, impressive in the bare gallery spaces. There is also music by Jamie Mills and dance by Sarah Fairhall and Lois Taylor related to the paintings and shown on video. Trevor Bell is one of the few painters who rejects the rectangle. I met an ex-student of his who claimed to have given his tutor the idea from their own experiments. However, if so, once voiced or shown in art ideas are everyone’s and Trevor Bell certainly used this in lively ways right until the end of his career.

Mary Fletcher

volume 34 no 1 September – October 2019 pp 26-27


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