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'The Lamp And The Veil'

 

Exhibition Date:  2nd - 30th July

The Lamp and The Veil

A new exhibition of paintings by Kate Bell and ceramic sculptures by Valerie James, in response to a trilogy of poems by the Welsh Metaphysical poet, Vernon Watkins. The work is inspired by the sentiment and ideas contained in The Lamp and the Veil.  We have adopted this title of the book for our exhibition which we hope has some of the depth, complexity, and deep metaphor of his work.

Each poem explores through vivid and lyrical language Watkin’s preoccupation with light and darkness, with the sea’s energy, with spirituality and myth.

Kate Bell is a Swansea based painter. Her often large, colourful and compelling paintings explore the artist's major preoccupations with music, poetry and landscape. A close relationship with the Gower coast and the poet has provoked this on-going series of work,

The coastline, the edge of landscape, is a place where perception can be transformed and altered by memory and imagination. It is at a point where the veil between the two worlds of land and sea is the thinnest, exploring both the conscious and unconscious. It is a place where we make the greatest connection.

Her creative practice stems from a fascination for this spiritual connection between land, sea and sky, nature and mythology. Her paintings are an embodiment of a sense of place through a continual dialogue between real and imagined geographies.

The concept of space, both actual and pictorial; implications of time, movement through shifting tidelines, weather and light materialise in these paintings, continually questioning the boundary between representation and pure abstraction and expanding the notion of how land and seascape are explored and understood.

Valerie James is an artist who lives and works in Pembrokeshire whose work is steeped in the history, myth and legend of the current and ancient peoples who walked this land, who made stone monuments and who wrote mystical and strange stories. She has produced works with a flavour of the sea and the wild southwest coast of Wales which inspired the poet.

Her inspiration comes from many places and in many ways.  Often the land itself speaks of myth and legend, of archetype and dream. At times walking into a particular field produces thoughts and ideas which vanish on leaving it.  Works arise from standing on the land sometimes at Gors fawr in the Preseli mountains where a circle of small stones lie full of mystery and magic and where the Sybil can circle in the creative imagination around the stones embracing their circumference. Sometimes a healing aspect is revealed by hands as in the work ‘Cupped Hands’ which can express such ideas as a scrying bowl, decorated with benevolent and ancient symbols. ‘The Sibyl and the Sea’ shows a sculptural figure atop a stoneware box expressing the female nature of the sea and its potent active symbolism, the box represents a closed or secret place for containing mystery.  ‘Birds of Augury’ seeks to show the prophetic nature within the writing and attempts to touch this mystery. 

These works are made in stoneware with additions of porcelain.  High fired glazes and oxides, sometimes enhanced with gold lustre give a votive or spiritual aspect to complete the process.   

KATE BELL

Waiting to Sail Away,
Waiting to Sail Away,

oil and cold wax on canvas 75cm x 61cm NFS

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Vortex and Mysteries of Ice 2
Vortex and Mysteries of Ice 2

oil on linen, 50 x 50 cm £695

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Vortex and Mysteries of Ice 1
Vortex and Mysteries of Ice 1

oil on hessian 50 x 50 cm £695

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Turning from Blue mid ocean to river’s mouth
Turning from Blue mid ocean to river’s mouth

oil on canvas 61cm x 61cm £795

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Treading miraculous grass,
Treading miraculous grass,

oil & charcoal on canvas, 50 x 70 cm £895

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Through Birds of Augury walk the seas. The sea is a Bird,
Through Birds of Augury walk the seas. The sea is a Bird,

oil on linen 70 x 70cm, £1200

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Through the new past and ageless prophecies
Through the new past and ageless prophecies

oil on canvas 41 cm x 51 cm £450

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Tracked with all natures of the impassive moon
Tracked with all natures of the impassive moon

oil on canvas 61 x 61cm, £795

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Through rending darkness but light escapes
Through rending darkness but light escapes

acrylic on canvas 50 x 60 cm £795

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Sea Pink roe spray,
Sea Pink roe spray,

oil on canvas 70 x 70 cm £1200

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The Lamp and the Veil
The Lamp and the Veil

oil & charcoal on canvas, 5ft x 5ft £3000

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Though the Waves Beat the Wall
Though the Waves Beat the Wall

oil on linen 50 cm x 50 cm £695

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VALERIE JAMES

1)The-Sea-is-a-Bird-
1)The-Sea-is-a-Bird-
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Girl-of-the-Sea
Girl-of-the-Sea

Girl of the Sea Stoneware H35cm x W20 x D20 £425 Silver lustre You see the true Girl of the sea bewildering the storm’s crew

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Raven-Dreams
Raven-Dreams

Stoneware H32cm x 22 x 7 £625 The raven sometimes is indicative of Healing when entering your dreams

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Weaver of the World
Weaver of the World

Stoneware H36cm x 30 x 11 £795 Watch, watch the spinning-wheel Winding the slow thread, snapped off in a trice, Backward and forever forward spinning, Binding the end to the beginning,

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5)The Dreamer and the Moon
5)The Dreamer and the Moon
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White-Sibyl
White-Sibyl

Stoneware/hardwood H40cmx30x15 £995 White Sibyl hot from the abandoned wheel

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Cupped-Hands
Cupped-Hands

Stoneware H28cm x 17 x 16 £595 A nameless message Nods in the shallows. Look, in this cupped hand The breathing light!

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Sibyl-of-the-Sea
Sibyl-of-the-Sea

Stoneware H35cm x 21 x 15 £595

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Bird-Augury
Bird-Augury

Stoneware H26cm x 20 x 16 £595 What the sibyl said through birds of augury Walks the sea; then the mysterious call Vanishes and is gone.

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Taliesin from the tombs
Taliesin from the tombs

Stoneware H26cm x 20 x 16 £595 What the sibyl said through birds of augury Walks the sea; then the mysterious call Vanishes and is gone.

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A-thread-I-cannot-keep
A-thread-I-cannot-keep

Stoneware H20cm x 13 x 13 £195 Scattering to chance your sea-thread grave and gay Flown, yet unblown, a thread I cannot keep

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Divining-Distances
Divining-Distances

Stoneware H34cm x 14 x 14 £495 Here with fine compasses, I span The delicate, listening seas that cover ears with pearl, Divining distances

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