Annie Metcalfe, Annie Henry, Mat McIvor
4-6 New Road, Newlyn, Cornwall
The Palm is a newish restaurant in Newlyn and shows a changing selection of work by local artists. As the proprietor David Costin said, there aren’t that many places for artists to show work locally as the galleries will only show the big names. As a London artist I have often Patronisingly thought how wonderful it must be in the provinces with all those cool little galleries (such as The Newlyn Gallery) but I now see you have to be either locally famous or interestingly foreign to get your work shown.
The Palm is currently showing work by three artists; Annie Metcalfe (who lives over the road) has been given the wine bar. She paints semi-figurative seascapes and cites her interest as “the intangible area of the point where land meets sea and that momentary experience which occurs at the point of impact”. Her reoccurring motifs are the flotsam and jetsam of the fishing industry, with a series of small square canvases showing cropped images of fishing net floats on the seashore, lusciously painted in bright, fresh colours. In the main area of the restaurant are a series of small bronze sculptures of the human figure by Annie Henry (www.anniehenry.com). Although much smaller they reminded me of some of Anthony Gormley’s work and have an inviting tactile quality to them. Also in the restaurant are a large number of brightly coloured, smoothly painted landscapes by Mat McIvor. Some of these melted into abstraction with structural honeycombs inspired by the Eden Project’s futuristic domes whilst others featured silhouetted skylines reminiscent of Jan Pienkowski’s (www.janpienkowski.com)70’s illustrations, beneath highly coloured stripy skies.
Overall the whole thing became greater than the sum of its parts and the freshness and commitment of the area’s art was what I came away with. David Costin should be commended for his vision in giving over his restaurant to these artists as well as of course the fantastic food on offer