Wilhelmina Barns-Graham At Waterhouse & Dodd June 2017
In early 2017 the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust entered a new relationship with the London and New York art gallery Waterhouse & Dodd. In June of that year the London gallery held its first full exhibition of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s paintings, extending from an early gouache of the Minack Cliff Theatre, Porthcurno from 1940 through to the dynamic Scorpio paintings that define her last decade.
The exhibition was very well received and the gallery was able to attract the attention of overseas collectors, particularly from the USA. Having successfully shown Scorpio paintings at Art Wynwood, Miami in February as well as at the subsequent New York art fair it is clear that Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s paintings can reach beyond historic boundaries, to new, international audiences who are seeing her work for the first time and appreciating what they see. That this would be the case has never been in doubt and it is exciting to have the means now to take her work out into the wider world. This is just the start.
The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust would like to thank Waterhouse & Dodd for permission to film in their gallery, and particularly to Jamie Anderson for his introduction.
A Different Way of Working – the Prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
Wilhelmina (Willie) Barns-Graham made prints throughout her long career, though it was not until the last decade of her life that printmaking became an integral part of her practice. This exhibition, curated by Ann Gunn of St Andrew University, takes an overview of her life in print.
During her early years in St Ives Willie made monotypes and linocuts, and took etching lessons at Penzance School of Art. Later on, working with a number of printmakers, she made lithographs, colour etchings and screenprints. There was always a clear relationship between the prints and her painting in terms of themes, imagery, and technique. One print technique would suit one theme; a different technique would suit another. By studying the prints and their changing subjects and styles, it is possible to follow the development of her art. As her paintings became increasingly non-representational, so did her prints.
This film was made while the exhibition was installed at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford, North Devon in between 25 March and 14 May, 2017.
Ann Gunn is the author of The prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham - a complete catalogue, published by Lund Humphries, 2007.
Up Close is a series of short films that closely examine close Wilhelmina Barns-Graham paintings, revealing details of picture surfaces that are often overlooked by exhibition visitors. Paintings have been selected from throughout Willie’s career, from 1940 to 2003. The existing collection of films will be added to regularly, in tandem with filming exhibitions of her art.
The first group of ten films was taken from the exhibition Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: a Scottish artist in St Ives whilst installed at Penlee House Art Gallery, Penzance in September 2016. These are: Assembly of Nine, View of St Ives, Sleeping Town, Glacier Study, Composition (Sea), Spanish Coast No.3 [Spanish Island Series], Warm Up, Cool Down, Warbeth, Variations on Theme Splintered Ice 2, and Five Blues.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: In her own words 1940-1947
A talk presented by Janet Axten MA at the St Ives Arts Club as part of the St Ives Festival 2016, supported by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust and St Ives Archive.
Using diaries and letters belonging to Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Janet Axten’s talk focussed on the artist’s very first years in St Ives after arriving there in March 1940. It did not take long for Willie, as she was known, to meet people and become a part of an active social group that centred around the Stokes, Nicholsons and Gabos. However it was not all plain sailing and there were moments when Willie questioned why she had come to this remote part of the country. Despite these feelings she persevered and went on to live there for the rest of her life. This illuminating talk brings to life part of the history of St Ives in the early 1940s looking at the people rather than the art, using photographs from St Ives archive. Digital copies of the diaries and Willie’s correspondence from the 1940s were deposited with St Ives Archive by the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust (aka The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust) in August 2016.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: A Scottish artist in St Ives
In 2012 the exhibition Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: a Scottish artist in St Ives was commissioned to celebrate Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s centenary. Born in St Andrews, Fife, in 1912 Barns-Graham’s attended Edinburgh College of Art in the 1930s. The focus of the show is the significance of her Scottish background and artistic heritage, and how that contributed to the development of her art. Barns-Graham first arrived in St Ives in March 1940 as fully trained artist, carrying her Scottish legacy with her. It remained central to her work until she died in January 2004.
Looking in Looking out
A Film on Wilhelmina Barns-Graham by Tim Fitzpatrick 2012. This project, over a year in the making, saw Tim working closely with the Barns-Graham Chartable Trust's collections and archive
Burton Art Gallery - A Discipline of the Mind
The opening of the Wilhemina Barns-Graham exhibition at the Burton Art Gallery - Bideford - "A Discipline of the Mind". This film is the introduction to the exhibition by Geoffrey Bertram, chairman of the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust.
WBG on BBC Primetime 1993
First broadcast on Wednesday 17th February 1993
Director: Jane Stimpson
This is an extract taken from the BBC Primetime News programme that was marking the opening of Tate St Ives. The clip contains an interview with Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and shows her at work in her St Ives studio.