Luke Frost ‘Colour Volts’
Sir Terry Frost was a great admirer of his grandson's paintings. “Mark my words, he’s got it, couldn't do it myself -mind- too bloody precise.”
Luke Frost paints volts of finely reduced colours that hum silence, a refinement of his grandfather’s passion for colour. "That slight imbalance that makes the viewer question his perception of the colour he thinks he is seeing. A little rectangle can resonate in a large space of colour" (Luke Frost, October 2014)
In 2007 he participated in the ‘Art Now Cornwall’ exhibition at the Tate in St Ives and a year later was awarded a Tate St Ives residency. Ironically he was given Ben Nicholson and Patrick Heron’s old studio ‘Porthmeor Studio No. 5’ - probably the artists he is closest to in terms of vision. However as a member of the younger generation, Luke positions himself outside the ‘St Ives tradition’. He largely acknowledges the influence of European and American artists such as Ian Davenport and Dan Flavin.
An exhibition of Luke Frost’s work ‘Paintings in Five Dimensions’ was shown at Tate St Ives in 2009. Recent exhibitions include Maryland Art Place, Baltimore and Beaux Arts London.
The artist’s mind is incessantly filled with colours and the idea of combining them in ways that reverberate. His work deals primarily with colour relationships in precise compositions that question the viewer’s awareness of colour. He is interested in exploring the pictorial possibilities and perceptions of colour in strictly formal arrangements. Thus areas of layered washes of colour are interrupted by contrasting or vibrating stripes that interact with the built up background hues.
This new exhibition is showing a development in Luke's work with more painterly, expressionistic brush work on the backgrounds, while the lines remain influential and precise with minuscule gradations in colour.
Simon Allen ‘Silence of the Skies’
Simon Allen is a great voyager. In 1989 he bucked out of art school to cross the Atlantic from Bermuda to Falmouth with a Swedish marine biologist. The trip should have taken the two men three to four weeks, but shortly after leaving the Azores they hit a Force 11 storm and their journey turned into a seven week venture, leaving him captivated and hypnotized by the sea – which became his main source of inspiration. Even now when a storm blows up Allen is out absorbing it on the St Just coast, a stretch of water that has long been littered with ship wrecks.
"Cirrus I and II are named after the high, wispy clouds paralleled by the foam on the crest of waves as they roll towards you. There is a feeling of immensity and elevation and effervescence, which is still there when I return to my studio and carve into the wood with my power tools and chisel. These are my brushes and canvas. The gilding is a more meditative process - a quietening. The gilding tools are those used by sculptors for centuries. I gather a little static by brushing the tiny gilding brush against my skin to pick up the gold leaf. 'Atlantic ' and 'Offshore' are part of this same series." (Simon Allen, 2014)
Thus Simon Allen presents us with a magic effervescent golden circle.
Offshore is the most ambitious work Allen has mastered. A 153 centimetre in diameter carved circle, inspired on the back of a Cornish storm with a mutable, forever changing surface of shimmering light gilded with the immemorial alchemist’s gold. The effect is shimmering pools of light that ripple and reverberate around the walls and light up a room.