30 March - 2 June 2013
Jessica Cooper – paintings
Jennie Hancox – silver works
A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth. It is about connections, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there. – Lucy Lippard
Fixtures and Fittings, which opens on Easter weekend, will be the first exhibition of the season for Kestle Barton. It will feature approximately twenty new paintings by Jessica Cooper, and several small collections of silver works from Jennie Hancox – a created in response to the themes and scenes to be found at Kestle Barton. All the work will be for sale, as well as some monochrome prints by Jessica Cooper made specifically for the show. During the course of the exhibition, which runs until June, the adjacent garden will wake up to reveal its splendid drifts of colour and varieties of texture that add a harmonious counterpart to the artwork on show.
Two artists of very different mediums both delight in the details of the place that Kestle Barton has become since the restoration of this ancient Cornish farmstead was completed in 2010. Fixtures and Fittings focuses on the reconstructive materials, the architecture and the grounds of Kestle Barton, as told through paintings by Jessica Cooper and silver works by Jennie Hancox. Each artist has spent time in the domestic spaces of the converted barns that now serve as holiday apartments; the working ‘unseen’ places used by staff; the fields and footpaths that surround the structures and the beautiful areas enjoyed by the visitors – namely the exhibition space and the adjacent garden open to the public from Easter – November.
The insight and artistic vision that both Jessica Cooper and Jennie Hancox offer in their work invites visitors this Spring to look closely themselves at the beautiful surroundings and the way in which the space has been made.
Jessica Cooper is a native to Cornwall, based in West Penwith, she is an active member of the Newlyn Society of Artists. Her painting practice is heavily informed by her daily drawings in her sketchbooks that record the objects and elements that surround her in life and bring meaning to her paintings. This new collection is in keeping with the elegant, minimal style that Cooper is known for. Humour and painterly sophistication are saturated into seemingly sparse compositions that rely on precise placement of line and colour for their strong impact. Familiar motifs from her repertoire reappear here through her exploration of Kestle Barton – an interest in both the interior and exterior of these unique house structures: chairs, kitchen utensils, mugs and teapots, metal rooftops and hidden corners. The gardens of Kestle Barton have also proved an irresistible subject, bringing bright colours and playful patterns into the collection.
Silver works by Jennie Hancox is also featured in Fixtures and Fittings, bringing together two distinct mediums in one exhibition. For both artists the commitment to the materiality of their medium is hugely important and echoes with their shared interest in the materials used in the restoration. Resisting the term ‘jewellery’, Hancox creates ‘wearable sculpture’ in silver that considers the sculptural object in relation to movement and the human form. Her collections are inspired by the natural environment, with themes developing through stages of sketchbook drawings, three dimensional models and finally the finished objects in silver. Also based in West Penwith, Hancox was particularly interested in the rooftops and the natural materials used at Kestle Barton as a starting point for her new collections.