NSA member Mike Newton’s exhibition Spring Cannot Be Cancelled is currently showing at the Borlase Smart Room, Porthmeor Studios, St Ives.

Here he explains the genesis and development of the project:

“But you knew there would always be the spring…”

Ernest Hemingway


This series of paintings was undertaken as a response to a series of poems by Mike Stevens loosely based on the theme of Spring. My task was to work outside of my comfort zone (Portraits) and draw inspiration from the poems to come up with a body of work that was still recognisable as my own. The title for the resulting series of paintings comes from David Hockney’s book describing his work completed during the COVID lockdown. Chosen firstly because one of the breakthrough paintings was prompted by a poem written by Mike during lockdown and secondly it seemed for a few weeks that we wouldn’t have a venue to show the work in Spring.


To create my selective responses to a different subject, not just in terms of aesthetics but also feelings, I started by sketching ideas on paper in pencil and then in paint. For imagery I have drawn heavily on the work of others not as copy of the artists’ original but endeavouring to achieve a deepening of meaning through a creative conversation between the poetry and the original paintings, and my own re-workings of them both.


The show runs until Sunday 19th May and there is Private View and reading on Friday 17th May 7-9pm

Immerse yourself in the colourful, large-scale paintings of Heather McAlpine, a St Ives based artist and NSA member inspired by the sea and her love of wild swimming. As Heather McAlpine prepares for her inaugural solo exhibition at the Crypt Gallery, aptly titled Immerse, she has undertaken the challenge of painting her largest canvas to date, a monumental 2 x 1.7m. Her paintings embody the essence of St Ives’ unique colour palette and reflect not only the striking visual aspect of the ocean but also the sensory and emotional experiences that come with it.

Born in Stirling, Scotland, Heather McAlpine’s creative journey led her to London, where she earned an MA from the Royal College of Art. Then, after 16 years of living and painting in Vancouver, Canada, fate guided her to the rugged shores of Cornwall, where she has found solace and inspiration for the past eight years. She now works from her studio in historic ‘Downalong’, nestled in between three of her favourite beaches.

The exhibition promises an immersive experience into her world, reflecting her deep affinity for the sea, wild swimming and the immersive process of painting itself. The exhibition will include a range of paintings, from her small ‘captured moments’ on paper to her large, semi-abstract expressive canvases.

Crypt Gallery, Norway Square, St Ives, TR26 1NA.

Saturday 11th – Friday 17th May 10 – 5pm daily.

PV Sat 11th May 4-7pm. (All welcome)




It’s been great having the involvement and insight of an artist from another discipline working with us on ‘Where the line Breaks’, our Spring show at Tremenheere. Award winning poet Katrina Naomi suggested the title for the show and curated it alongside the NSA’s Catherine Harvey Jefferson and Carlos Zapata. On Sunday afternoon, Katrina read the poem commissioned by the NSA in response to the show. After her talk about the process of writing it and some questions and discussion, the audience asked her to read the poem a second time, to great applause. The poem is called The Golden Mbira, Or How to Really Look.’  It’s beautiful and thought provoking and the event was a lovely ending to Katrina’s collaboration with us. A video of Katrina’s reading will go on the NSA website in due course, but copies of it are available to read at the gallery. It’s a great show and it closes this Sunday 21st April. Don’t miss it


The Golden Mbira, Or How to Really Look

This place is changed

irrevocably, having taken on colour, brag & quirk

from a quicken of kerbs to a flurry of fields

something dirty made to shine


A gappy marriage of earth & air


We keep to boundaries

so much of our lives but I met a Celtic poet

who used 12 years to write

his Gaellic-Gallic-English mash-up of Sweeney.


Here, on a white wall, that same dedication, dare I say

obsession – as in words, as in art –

in the searching, the searching, in the whirring

of wire into gold, noting dates, lanes, time

This artist has been searching for two years

so far, offering a reminder to really look


Poets talk of looking aslant –

I consider how the artist Julia sees a dead cartridge

next to a bird

A musicality of form

even if birds no longer sing

let us believe

a woodpecker once made love to a buzzard


Poets might do well to write in art’s texture

that ability to recognise an individual

feather – to know the shaft of a hen pheasant

I long for specificity

as I long fervently for warplanes to stop

Such a failure in our inabilities


The gold keys bristle in empathy

try to take to the skies on a promise, a message, a promise

Their musicality cannot yet be played

though thumbs thrust to the mbira


We’re at the edge

each feather a lost shoe

in our wandering

Let us return to the oaky nest

where all birds are lovers

where an oak pretends to die


Others are not so fortunate


I’ve heard swallowing oak leaves

can extend a life –

a certain bitterness, guaranteed


What is it we might look for

in our long or short lives?

I stumble over dull metaphors

It’s good to see the humble

gleam from streets & hedges

in our rural/urban construct

How we wish for one but live in the other


I would like to be still

yet keep searching


Some things – such as love & compassion –

are hard to locate

Harder still, it seems, is peace



Katrina Naomi




‘Where the line

NSA Spring Exhibition 2024
Friday March 29th (Good Friday) to Sunday April 21st 2024.

The Newlyn Society of Artists (NSA) will be bringing together two distinctive art forms in its upcoming spring show. Katrina Naomi, a distinguished poet (winner of numerous awards and Chair of the Society of Authors’ Poetry & Spoken Word Group) will collaborate with the NSA to select and curate the show. She will be also be writing a specially commissioned poem.

More than fifty works will be exhibited by the NSA’s nationally and internationally recognised artists. They will embrace all media, ranging from painting, drawing and print, to film, sculpture and 3D installation. And visitors should expect the unexpected! The Newlyn Society of Artists is known for its commitment to pushing the boundaries of creative expression: recent exhibitions have explored the possibilities of augmented reality and virtual experience.

Julia Giles, Chair of the NSA, said ‘We asked Katrina to suggest the theme of the show and I hope that visitors will enjoy our responses to a poet’s challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing what the perspective of a poet will bring to the process of putting the show together’.

Commenting on her involvement, Katrina Naomi said, ‘I always really enjoy what NSA does… so to be invited to write in response to the spring NSA show is very exciting. Line breaking vitally distinguishes poetry from prose. It leads to disruption and surprise. These feel like good issues for visual artists to be responding to…’

Katrina will give the first reading of the specially commissioned poem to mark this landmark collaboration, followed by a short talk. This Penzance based poet is due to publish her fourth full collection, ‘Battery Rocks, in July 2024.

Five artists will be talking about their work at the gallery on Saturday April 6th 2.00 till 3.30 and Katrina will be making her presentation on Sunday April 14th 2.20 till 3.00. Please book on Eventbrite. Entry to the gallery and tickets are free.

For more information about Katrina Naomi and her work please go to her website

Biography – Katrina Naomi    www.katrinanaomi.co.uk



NSA member Yolande Armstrong will be showing new work in an exhibition of her paintings at Daisy Laing Gallery, Old Bakehouse Lane, Chapel Street in Penzance, opening on 12th March.


Yolande describes the thinking and the process behind the work:

Women have been, and still are, silenced in many ways in cultures across the globe – expected to be quiet and reticent and to behave acceptably. But women, like other marginalised groups, have also used silence and body language as a way of creating communication and of rebelling. These paintings celebrate the possibilities of a rich ferment of thoughts, feelings, emotions and potential for action behind the signalling which women present to the world.

The work is based on a collection of photographs made over many years, some taken by me, some shared by others. While a photographic image is a fleeting moment captured by mechanical means, translating a photograph into painting is a tactile process using human skills and physical materials to make marks and meaning over a period of time.

The nature of painting has enabled me to explore posture, gesture, positioning of figures and historical and social context, and to suggest through the use of paint medium new layers of meaning, interesting resonances. The flaws, or peculiarities which we might now quickly delete in digital images, are often rich and suggestive…

The show runs until 1st April and the gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, plus Easter Sunday and Monday.


Newlyn Society of Artists Showcase 2023

Saturday 14 October to Sunday 5 November.

Tremenheere Gallery, Tremenheere

Sculpture Gardens, Gulval, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8YL


The Showcase is one of the NSA’s twice-yearly exhibitions at Tremenheere. Drawn from our membership of almost 100 professional artists, this exhibition aims to present a slice of lively and thought provoking art created in Cornwall in the 2020s. There is no house style in the NSA. The visitor can expect to see high-quality work across a range of media reflecting the wide diversity of practices and interests within the membership where the nature and challenges of contemporary life find an artistic voice.

On Saturday 21 October a group of participating artists will be at the gallery from 1.45pm to talk to visitors about the ideas and processes involved in their practice. The Artists Talks will be followed at 3.00pm by a presentation by Dr Virginia Button with ‘Some thoughts on the Artist’s Society in a Rural Community’.

This will offer a critical perspective on the function of a Society such the NSA for the contemporary artist, their work and the Society’s relationship with the community in which it is located.

Entry to the gallery is free. If you would like to attend the artists talks and presentation on the 21 October, please book via Eventbrite. By scanning the code on the poster with your mobile phone you will be redirected to the Eventbrite online page. Tickets are free.

Newlyn Society of Artists Established in the late 19th century by an influential group of Landscape and Social Realist painters, the NSA exists today as a group of almost 100 contemporary artists who live in West Cornwall or have a close connection to it. They work across a range of disciplines from painting and sculpture to performance and the moving image.

The NSA is run by an annually elected committee and continues to seek new opportunities and welcome new membership applications. In 2017, the NSA began an exciting new partnership with Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, whose new, contemporary gallery space is now their new home, and the venue for twice yearly NSA exhibitions.

Ginny Button is an art historian, writer, curator and academic, with expertise in modern and contemporary British Art.  Formerly a curator at London’s Tate Gallery and Tate Britain, she curated the Turner Prize for much of the 1990s before moving to Cornwall in 2001, where she worked at Falmouth University, initially as Course Leader MA Curatorial Practice, then as Head of Art and Director of Falmouth School of Art.


‘Noa’ Notes from the margins

23-24 Sept at The Lafrowda Club, St Just, Cornwall. 6-9pm.

Two evenings featuring a collaborative installation between Mike Thorpe and Terry Gibson with soundscapes, film and artworks from a residency early this year at Brisons Veor.

Free admission


NSA members Heather McAlpine and Mike Newton, together with Lynette Pierce, have an exhibition 3 ST. IVES PAINTERS, at the Crypt Gallery, St. Ives.

They would love you to join them for a glass of wine at the Private View this Saturday 22nd July 3 – 5pm.

The exhibition is open daily 10.30 – 5.00 and runs until Friday 28th July. It’s a great show – hope you can make it!

engage - exhibition



Saturday 1 April to Sunday 23 April 2023
11am-4pm (closed Mondays)

Open Bank Holiday Monday

Tremenheere Gallery
Gulval, Penzance TR20 8YL

Opening event: Saturday 1st April 2-4pm


Art is Technology – The Newlyn Society of Artists Spring ’23 Show Engage 

Article by Kate Reeves-Edwards



NSA collaborative Immersive Technology Project

Over the past nine months, five NSA members have had the opportunity to work with Professor Tanya Krzywinska, a Research Professor working with Immersive Games and Technologies at Falmouth University.  They have been given support to create augmented and virtual reality dimensions to their own work. This will be exhibited as part of the launch show for two new apps created by Tanya and NSA member Professor Penny Florence for Tremenheere Gardens, as well as being part of the NSA show.

The two Tremenheere apps are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the work with the other 5 NSA artists is part of Falmouth and Exeter Universities’ Immersive Business outreach project  https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/immersive-business funded by European Regional Development Fund.

Newlyn Society of Artists members Michelle Ohlson, Andrew Litton, Simon Averill, Kate Walters and Pat Wilson-Smith have been developing pieces of work using Augmented Reality so that while a work might hang on the wall, other versions of it can be seen through a phone app. Kate Walters has created a piece using Virtual Reality which can be experienced using a headset so that the viewer feels inside the actual work.

The Newlyn Society of Artists always produce shows which inspire and excite. We are particularly pleased to be part of this new development in technology which opens up the art world in just the same ways in which Passmore Edwards aspired to do. We hope that you enjoy it!


Please click on the link Additional Information to read more about the artists and the work.


This show is dedicated to Passmore Edwards, who was born 200 years ago and who promoted education and accessibility to the arts for those who could not otherwise afford it. To do this, he invested in and built schools, hospitals and galleries around Cornwall and the south, including notably Newlyn Art Gallery.


engage - exhibition

communal earth painting workshop 

for Newlyn Society of Artists at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

with Peter Ward  

Thursday 13th April 2023 (1100 – 1430)