'Now There is Just a Light' Opening Party: Thursday 9th May 6 – 8 pm at School, School Gallery, Delta House Studios, London, SW17 0BA.
I walked to Tater Du - I walked to Trevose Head - I swam to Godrevey - I stared out
towards Longships - I sailed to St Anthonys - I drove to Pendeen - I chanced upon Lizard
Lights - We anchored near Smeatons - We bottled out of siling to Eddiston - The Gribbin
was almost invisible in the mist.
School Gallery is pleased to present Now it is Just a Light, an exhibition of new paintings by Catherine Haines. Haines’ has developed a strong affinity with her local Cornish landscape, to its folklore, local histories and superstitions. She has made work about figureheads, maps, snow globes, the ‘Obby ‘Oss, lucky limpets and other sea life that has good fortune attached to it. In this exhibition her interest has been drawn to lighthouses – St Anthony's Lighthouse, The Gribben, Trevose, Godrevy, Pendeen, Tater Du, Longships, Wolf Rock, Round Island, Peninnis Head, St Agnes, Bishop Rock, Lizard Lights, Eddystone, Smeaton's tower, inshore lights, Penzance harbour, Newlyn harbour, Portreath, Polperro, Looe and Fowey, – all within close proximity to the artists’ studio in Newlyn, Cornwall.
Haines’ had found a collection of postcards with pictures of the lighthouses on them. This inspired the start of her many visits to the sites. Being a keen swimmer Haines’ would often swim to the lighthouses and create a documentation of that journey or emotive feeling from that journey. A 2016 print edition …to the Lighthouse, documents the artists swim, with a friend, to Godrevey Lighthouse. On the swim they were joined by 3 seals. One followed them back to land. The work is a visual diary entry of this journey. The lighthouses for Now it is Just a Light, are a collection of memories, experiences and chance encounters, catalogued by the artist.
On the lighthouses Haines’ has said:
“…it was all the wrong way around. I found the collection of postcards before I set about visiting each destination. The collection of postcards of lighthouses, unsent, no messages, unstamped was the beginning of my journey around all the lighthouses off the Cornish coast. I walked, sailed and swam around them. Watched and waited until it got dark to see their lights, each with their own unique light and rhythm.
Having grown up within earshot of St Anthony’s lights - remember fragile rock? - and with
the heroic story of Grace Darling the daughter of a lighthouse keeper going out into the
storm to rescue the shipwrecked sailor. The automation of lighthouses has taken an
element of hope away from the beacon of light at sea. Once it meant someone was
there. Now it is just a light”.