Episode 1 – Bo Lanyon – A St Ives Legacy
Bo Lanyon explores how artists working now have responded to the legacy of the St. Ives school in Cornwall, speaking with artists Lucy Stein, Hannah Murgatroyd and musician Gwenno about painting, the British Modernist tradition, ancient Cornish fougous, living with the dead and the lasting influence of his grandfather, Peter Lanyon.
What is a Fougou? (pronounced foogoo)
Wikipedia defines a fougou as ‘an underground, dry-stone structure found on Iron Age or Romano-British-defended settlement sites in Cornwall. The original purpose of a fougou is uncertain today. Colloquially called vugs, vows, foggos, giant holts, or fuggy holes in various dialects, fougous have similarities with souterrains or earth-houses of northern Europe and particularly Scotland, including Orkney. Fewer than 15 confirmed fogous have been found.’
You can read more about their locations, history and speculation on their uses in this BBC article.
What is Allantide?
Allantide (Nos Calan Gwaf) is more than simply a Cornish Halloween – watch this short film by the Cornish Culture Association to learn more about this Celtic festival.
Who are the Raffidy Dumitz band?
They are the ‘Cornish Culture Associations community musical project. The band is open to people of all ages and abilities and appears at our events throughout the year and at festivals and events run by other Cornish groups. We use two sets of costume, the first based on the costumes of guise dancers and the second based on the work wear of Mount’s Bay in the 19th century.’
Watch the Raffidy Dumitz band in full costume during a procession at Montol here:
Peter Lanyon (1918-1964) is described by Tate as ‘one of the most important artists to emerge in post-war Britain. Despite his early death at the age of forty-six he achieved a body of work that is amongst the most original and important reappraisals of modernism in painting to be found anywhere. Combining abstract values with radical ideas about landscape and the figure, Lanyon navigated a course from Constructivism through Abstract Expressionism to a style close to Pop.’
You can see a gallery of the Tate’s collection of Lanyon’s works here.
You can learn more about the exhibition Soaring Flight at the Courtauld Gallery referenced in the podcast here, and the catalogue raisonne (a comprehensive listing of all the known artworks by an artist) by Toby Treves and published by Modern Art Press here.
The BBC documentary we reference, The Art of Cornwall with Dr James Fox is currently unavailable via iPlayer but can be seen on YouTube here.
Hannah Murgatroyd is a painter whose work is underpinned by drawing and writing, shaping an open narrative of association. Painting within a version of the world, her images move through seasons, mise-en-scène and emotions, led by a cast of male and female protagonists who spring from a personal vision of the figure as told through the history of art, popular culture and a life lived. Representation here opens a window on to a version of the world, one bodily charged, eroticised and engaged deeply with surface.
Selected exhibitions include Monster/Beauty: An Exploration of the Female / Femme Gaze curated by Marcelle Joseph, Lychee One, London, UK (2020); Draw Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, Bucolica solo presentation with Von Goetz, London, UK (2019); the group survey exhibition Women Can’t Paint at Turps & ASC Galleries, curated by Marcus Harvey (2018). Group exhibitions include: Our Souls to Keep at Field Projects, NYC, curated by Lissa Rivera from the Museum of Sex and The Story of Zebedee at Von Goetz Art, London.
She is featured in the Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting (Casemate Publishing, 2018) for her solo show, Landscape As A Peopled World, at Exeter Phoenix (2017). She won the Exeter Contemporary Open in 2014 and is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is a Mentor with the Turps painting school Correspondence Course.
This in-depth interview by Garageland Magazine explores her process, thinking & work following her show with von Goetz gallery at the inaugural Draw Art Fair London.
Painter’s Network South West
Set up in 2019 by Hannah Murgatroyd via Instagram as a resource for painters to connect & instigate their own ideas, the account hosts regular takeovers and curated online shows.
Lucy Stein studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and later at De Ateliers, in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include £10.66, Palette Terre, Paris (2018); KNOCKERS, Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2018); Crying the Neck, NICC Brussels (with Nina Royle) (2017); On Celticity (organised with Paola Clerico), Rodeo Gallery, London (2016); Moonblood/Bloodmoon at Galerie Gregor Staiger (2015); Retention (with Shana Moulton), Gimpel Fils, London; Big Farmer, Piper Keys, London (both 2014). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2019), Mendes Wood DM, Brussels; Tate St Ives (both 2018); Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels; TULCA festival, Galway, Newlyn Gallery, Penzance (all 2017); Union Pacific, London; Le Bourgeoise, London (2016); UKS, Oslo, François Ghebaly, Los Angeles (2015); Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; and The Approach, London (both 2014).
In 2017 she co-organised Fuck you where’s my Suger, a two-day festival celebrating depression and hysteria at Cafe Oto in London with Mark Harwood. In 2016 she co-curated NEO-PAGAN BITCH-WITCH! at Evelyn Yard, London with France-Lise McGurn. In 2015 she organised the multimedia performance event The Wise Wound at Tate St Ives and Porthmeor studios.
You can read an in-depth profile & interview with Lucy by Conceptual Fine Arts here.
Her upcoming solo show at Spike Island in 2021, Wet Room, comprises a new series of coffin-scale paintings, deities carved from soap, and a fully functioning, hand-painted wet room. Building on a lasting engagement with goddess culture, witchcraft and the idea of the ‘anima’ (soul), the exhibition is based on Stein’s research into the ancient, womb-like Neolithic passages unique to West Cornwall (fougous, pronounced foogoo).
Gwenno is a musician and conceptual artist from Cardiff, Wales. Her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, won the Welsh Music Prize 2015 and Le Kov, her critically acclaimed second album, was written and sung entirely in Cornish. Le Kov translates as ‘Place of Memory’, and includes the song Tir ha Mor (land and sea) which was directly inspired by the work of Peter Lanyon.
Listen to Le Kov via Spotify here.
Gwenno’s BBC Radio 4 episode, Songs from the Edgelands, documents her trip to the SUNS festival in Italy to celebrate the power of songs sung in minoritised languages.
Bo Lanyon works across painting & sculpture, exploring an entangled landscape of experience: loss, connection, conflict, distance, hope. Material processes reflect emotional states, where disembodied limbs attempt to touch across dreamlike painted landscapes, instructional symbols offer routes in and beyond; human elements shelter from unknown, existential threats & raw metal exposes the rainbow weld marks of its own making.
Born in Cornwall, he currently lives and works in Bristol, UK. He holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, has work in the Zabludowicz Collection and has received a number of awards from Arts Council England. Recent exhibitions include The London Bronze Collection, Squire & Partners, London (2019); The First World War & its Legacy: Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience Festival, Bristol Cathedral & M-Shed (2019); The Death of Optimus Prime, Spike Island, Test Space (2019); Where It Is, There It Is, Auction House, Redruth, Groundwork Programme (2018); Plymouth Contemporary (2017); Broomhill National Sculpture Prize (2015); the inaugural 4 New Sensations, Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4, Old Truman Brewery, London (2007) and the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2005).
The Bricks Podcast follows Bristol’s contemporary artists, on journeys within the city walls and beyond, along the leylines of the South West, up the A roads north, and through their unique observations on the world.