Friday, 27 December 2013

Blowing up a Storm in Porthleven

We have had a truly wonderful review of our Storm Front exhibition on our facebook page that we really want to share. Thank you to Ruth Marler for your extremely kind words:

Blowing up a storm in Porthleven

The Lifeboat Art Studio, Porthleven 21- 22 Dec 2013

It is not often that one is fortunate enough to stumble upon a jewel of an exhibition and even less likely when that exhibition is only in existence for such a short period as the winter solstice weekend.

Curated by Natalie Lauren & Cathy Evans, the two halves of “midsummer nights creative nights”, “Storm Front” at The Lifeboat Art Studio, Porthleven presented a small, perfectly-formed selection of works celebrating “Cornish Storms in Winter”.

Discovery of the venue in Porthleven, with its unique spirit and location, inspired the duo to invite artists working in a wide range of mediums to submit pieces that embodied the theme “Storm Front” for inclusion in this exhibition.

As tempestuous waves assaulted the structure, the stark interior offered eleven pieces for contemplation. With titles such as, “the calm before”, “tempest”, “elements”, “shelter in the storm”, “aftermath” and vestige” it is tempting to consider these works almost as stations of the storm.

Each piece had its individual merit, none being of more or less artistic value than the next but the overall strength lay in the art as a body of work by a group of artists carefully selected by the able curators who in their own works demonstrated a skill for assembling more than one of a kind. Cathy Evans' “elements” a group of found slates allowed nature to be the 12th artist in the exhibition, displaying the marks left on hundred year-old roof tiles whilst Natalie Lauren using mixed media of watercolours, inks, pigments and paints appeared to have drawn inspiration from the square format of the Lifeboat Art Studio windows as well as the closeup details of the coast in her contribution. As someone whose own ares of practice is primarily in textiles I was delighted to see, “Sense of a Cornish Storm” a large piece by Zoe Howarth, executed in hand-dyed silk that echoed the conditions outside the gallery. She also created the atmospheric fabric covers on the exhibition catalogues.

Natalie Lauren and Cathy Evans (midsummer nights creative events) are clearly a team to watch out for in the future.

Ruth Marler

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Storm Front

The 20th December saw the private view of our latest exhibition; 
'Storm Front'

All the weeks of planning, meetings with artists and hours spent printing and binding the catalogues all lead up to this day.  And it didn't disappoint.

With plenty of forward planning and a surprisingly smooth hanging we were ready to go before 7pm when the guests started arriving!

With the mulled wine heated up and ready for pouring....

...and the catalogues printed and bound (covers made by our wonderful artist Zoe Howarth).

We were ready to go!

Despite the weather warnings not to come to Porthleven we had an amazing turn out! Thank you to everyone who braved the storm to come and make the evening a success!
And here are the images of the pieces that the artists displayed:

'Elements' by Cathy Evans

'Seascape Bowl' by Ali Gibson

'The Calm Before' by Amy Iles Freeman

'Vestige 1, 2 & 3' by Laura Menzies

'+50º 4'32.7642",-5º 18' 14.6556"' by Natalie Lauren

'Misty, Little Fistral' by Alex Morton

'Tempest' by Andrew Major

'Sense of a Cornish Storm' by Zoe Howarth

'The Aftermath' by Rebekah Brown

'Shelter in the Storm' by Briony May Smith

'Tewedh' by Alistair Dean

Thank you for reading!
Natalie & Cathy

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Artist Introduction: Andrew Major

We're half way through the artists now and just under three weeks away from the exhibition!

Here is the introduction to our fifth artist, Andrew Major...

We asked Andrew to answer our questions, and to share some of his work with us, so you could find out a little more about him and his work...

How did you get into art? 
When I was about twelve years old I had the most inspirational art teacher at school.  He was french and classically trained with leanings towards the impressionist movement, quite the eccentric, and as my name was Major would salute me on entering the classroom.

Path to Porthcurno

Where did you study?
Initially from a artists co-operative working out of the iconic Folk House in Bristol.  There was an eclectic group of painters, potters and printers teaching and working from their studios.


What are your main inspirations in your work?
Walking through the landscape with my sketch pad taking inspiration from the beauty of the coastline to the desolation of the moorlands, and Turner, I love Turners skies and the painterly qualities in his work.

Carminowe Creek

How did you get involved with Midsummer nights?
Saw a poster in the brewhouse coffee bar in Porthleven.


How do you wait out a storm?
Looking out of the studio window, a cup of coffee in hand with peraphs a Mahler symphony or Nick Cave track playing in the background.


Website :  (to be updated!)
twitter: @amajorart

We have such a lovely range of practices from our artists, the show is shaping up to be pretty exciting and varied!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Artist introduction: Zoe Howarth

Here is the introduction to our fourth artist, Zoe Howarth

We asked Zoe to answer our questions, and to share some of her work with us, so you could find out a little more about her and her work...

How did you get into art? 
Ever since I was little I have always been creative. My nana taught me how to knit when I was very young and I learnt some basic lace making techniques when I was only 7 years old. I taught myself how to sew and growing up I would often make my own clothes and have even made costumes for my siblings’ Christmas plays as well as my step-mums wedding dress!  Being creative has always felt like a strange obsession, an addiction, I guess you would call it a great passion. I cannot help myself, I have a constant need to create and be creative.

Blue hand dyed silk

Where did you study?
I went to London College of Fashion to study for my art foundation which specialised in fashion and textiles. I then went on the complete my BA(Hons) Textile Design at Falmouth University in 2010 where I fell in love with weaving and the hand dyeing process.

Handwoven and dyed scarfs

What are your main inspirations in your work?
I am obsessed with the patterns and textures of the Cornish coastline and I love to capture these natural abstracts within my textile work. It is always the same details, a section of rock in the cliff face, the marks left in the sand by the moving tide or the peeling paint on a fishing boat.  The coastline gives me endless inspiration, with different weather or times of day it can transform the same stretch of coast. The colours, textures and compositions can all change so I am never quite sure what I will find.

Montage of Cornish coast

How did you get involved with Midsummer nights?
I got involved with Midsummer nights when I was in the Four Crows gallery in Porthleven where I stock some of my work.  I noticed their poster in the window calling for artists to take part in the ‘Cornish storms’ exhibition so I emailed them straight away and then got stuck into this exciting project!

Pink shibori silk

How do you wait out a storm?
We live quite high up, surrounded by fields so our house is really exposed to the elements. When a storm hits we can always hear the howling whistling winds and lashing rain beating down on us.  It is usually once the storm has subsided that I love to go down to the beach to watch the huge crashing waves. The power is so immense I am in awe of its natural beauty and surrender myself to never really being able to comprehend the true power and strength of the sea. I always take my camera too, I can’t resist those gorgeous silvery tones!

Silver sea after a storm

To see Zoe's work in progress visit her blog:

And here is her website:

We hope you like these posts about our artist, if there is anything else you want us to blog about leave a comment below!