22nd June - 5th July
Daily from 10:00 - 18:00
Elaine Pamphilon and Christopher Marvell Exhibition
Elaine Pamphilon is a painter and harpist dividing her talents equally between these two creative areas. She studied the harp with David Watkins, principal harpist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in Paris with Solange Renie-Siguret. After obtaining a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music she received lessons from the famous Welsh harpist Ossian Ellis. She started to paint in the mid 1980's at Homerton College, Cambridge where she studied under Kay Melzi.
In Elaine's painting the vibrant colour, bold formal design and sensitive line gain their inspiration from the rich visual environment of her home with its collections of found objects and also from the world of music and literature. She often adds elements of collage or other media to her clear confident use of watercolour and acrylic.
With a house and studio in St. Ives, she enjoys drinking coffee sitting on the slate step, and taking in the view looking down over the bay. Living high on the hill, Elaine loves the 'house by the sea' feeling in paintings with distant views of boats, sea and shorelines and close up detail of flowers on a table, pebbles and shells, with favourite cups, mugs and bowls. She works on canvas, board and paper using mixed media to create the line and surface that is necessary.
Christopher Marvell’s works impose themselves as seemingly blunt facts, but on deeper reflection they initiate a subtle dialogue that cajoles us to contemplate not only the relationship between human and animal, but also between the human/animal archetype and the human/animal condition itself. Somehow, his animals do not contain individual character, but rather they suggest the character of their species as distilled through human convention and consciousness.
Conceived through drawing, expressed initially in maquette, fixed in plaster and fully realised in bronze, the sculpture of Christopher Marvell is sparing in detail but fulsome in association. The solid, substantial, patinated human and animal subjects that constitute the larger part of his output manage to achieve an irresistible balance between humour and pathos, ugliness and beauty, strength and weakness, past and present, and art and craft. Bringing to mind elements of the works of Marini, Giacometti, Miro and Moore, Christopher Marvell’s broadly representational sculpture is often charmingly quirky without ever being diminished by its idiosyncrasy.
Whether realised as solitary figures, as arranged groups, or in juxtaposition with the man-made, Christopher Marvell’s sculpture – which appears as if formed of the very bones of the earth – also steers us into a reassessment of our conceptions both of the ‘nature of things’ and of the ‘things of nature’. The intense patination is essentially natural, and yet it is also the product of human judgement and human promotion. Whilst presenting itself as natural; rough, eroded and aged; devoid of ‘precious’ value, the aesthetic stipulation cannot prevent our understanding that it conceals bronze as we most often conceive it: man-made, shiny, ornamental and precious. This is sculpture that appears to be what it is, but nevertheless asks what it is to ‘appear to be’ anything.