Budleigh Salterton artist’s work to go on show in the highly-rated Penwith Gallery, St Ives

Artist Liz Cleves, working on a painting called Stellar Rising. Picture: Ivor Cleves

Artist Liz Cleves, working on a painting called Stellar Rising. Picture: Ivor Cleves - Credit: Ivor Cleves

Liz Cleves’s paintings were accepted by the Penwith Gallery in St Ives, which was set up by a group of artists she has admired since her youth

A Budleigh Salterton artist is thrilled to have achieved a long-held ambition to have her work exhibited at a prestigious gallery in Cornwall.

Liz Cleves’s paintings are to go on display in March at the Penwith Gallery in St Ives – a town well known for its arts scene.

“Penwith Gallery has always stood for something important in my mind, as a place to experience what it means to be an artist,” she said.

“As a young person I was very much in awe of contemporary artists – those that I thought were good. Some of these people had been instrumental in the setting up of the Penwith Gallery. Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Bernard Leach and Terry Frost were amongst those who set up The Penwith Art Society. They set the standard for contemporary art in not only Cornwall but far and wide.”

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Liz attended Falmouth Art School, but went on to become a primary school teacher. Thirty-five years later, after retiring, she returned to painting, and went on to develop her current vibrant, abstract style. She moved to Budleigh six years ago.

In 2017 she visited the Penwith Gallery and “summoned up the courage” to ask who could exhibit there. She was asked to submit a CV, images of her work, and an ‘artist statement’. Shortly afterwards she was told her work had been accepted, but there would be a waiting list of two years.

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“Needless to say, I was happy to wait for such an opportunity to exhibit there,” she said. “All I had to do then was crack on with my painting!”

While Liz is still drawn to visit West Cornwall, she loves living in Budleigh Salterton, and believes it is good for her art.

“Living here is inspiring. Just walking by the beach every day and being able to breathe in the sea air keeps the creative spirit alive and active,” she said.

“I am fortunate too to be able to meet up with a group of artists who have similar interests in abstract painting. Patrick Jones, an abstract expressionist living in Budleigh, offers art sessions where like-minded people can discuss painting, and work alongside one another.”

Liz’s exhibition at the Penwith Gallery runs from Saturday, March 9 until Saturday, April 6.

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