Muddy Meets: Winnie Lyn, Artist

Taiwanese business woman turned Penzance artist Winnie Lyn talks seeking fulfilment, the Penzance Art Festival and being a woman in the arts.

What prompted your move to Cornwall?

Until 6 years ago I was a well paid, well-travelled Taiwanese business woman living a life highly valued by some. But I felt unfulfilled and decided move to Cornwall and discover a more meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle.

Five centuries ago Portuguese explorers discovered an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean and named it ‘Ilha Formosa’ (beautiful island). This island is now known as Taiwan and nowadays visitors say the most beautiful thing about this island is it’s people.

Having travelled to over 35 countries I have found the people of Penwith (Cornwall) very beautiful too. As well as amazing natural scenery and wildlife, the art community here is very open and supportive.

What is your day to day working life like?

When I first came to Cornwall I was amazed to discover that the local people often have to have multiple jobs to support themselves and sure enough I too now live that lifestyle. It might sound exhausting but actually I enjoy the work I do and I am so lucky living in Cornwall!

“Very busy and so have-to-be very flexible” is the best way to describe my day-to-day working life. I often have to juggle many things at a time, mix match different tasks that could be done in one trip or on one occasion. But it can be very enjoyable and fun because what I do are mostly art related works.

I work as a volunteer in a number of different art organisations including Penzance Studios which support local artists helping them to promote their work and promoting Penzance as an artistic destination. I also run a small AirBnB to earn a living and maintain my wildlife garden and allotment. I create paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures for exhibitions and local art sales.

Has that changed at all during the various lockdowns / pandemic and if so, do you think it has highlighted any need for change?

Yes… quite a lot… we all became much more cautious and distanced. We lost all of the town artistic activities and now we have very limited interaction with friends, less eye contact, less smiley faces and, most of all, no income.

Government resources were not allocated for small, self-contained business like mine or to a lot of artists in Cornwall.

We also need to encourage people to shop locally again to support small business, avoid unnecessary packaging materials, use less plastic and reduce our carbon footprint.

What are you doing to promote women/equality in your every day?

One important thing I have learned here is that women/equality doesn’t necessary mean women should get more attention or more assistance. I know it sounds weird but it’s so true that a woman can empower herself by doing it herself!

And my biggest break through is that I practiced and realized that there are lots of things I can do it myself! (Proud face)

I have learned how to use power tools and to fix problems within my own power. Not that I don’t have love and support from my family and friends, I always have good ideas and suggestions from them, they often offered help too! But fundamentally I do not expect a man to do it for me anymore!

What’s it like being a female business owner in Cornwall – is it the same experience in Taiwan?

Personally I found female business owners often made the world/life more beautiful, they are more likely to put in more thought on extra touches that make people around them feel loved. In addition, female business owners often have to cope with running their business as well as their physical condition during their periods. (In Taiwan, it is law that women are allowed to take sick leave every month during their periods).

In Cornwall, there are relatively more small local businesses that are owned by women and I believe it’s one of the reasons why Cornwall is such a beautiful place to live.

What more is there to do in terms of equality / parity in Cornwall generally?

Cornwall needs more government resources to support these small local businesses! Cornwall can be the place to promote environmental commercial activities, such as shop local, plastic free…

What’s the general vibe among women in the art world?  Are people supportive? Good networks? 

Yes, most certainly they are! Women artists I know are all very warm, caring and supportive. Possibly the reason why nowadays there are more women committee members in most of the art societies.

In Penwith, before the pandemic, my life was so busy and enjoyable because there are so many art related activities and events to attend to, most of which were often hosted or initiated by women artists. I hope we don’t lose this momentum because the restrictions of the pandemic.

Do you have any role models?

I wouldn’t say I have a role model of life but I do feel, more and more, that I behave like my mother. I think people naturally learn from their mother and embrace their love feeling safe.

Can you tell me more about the Penzance Art Festival?

Penzance Arts Festival will be held on the 4th ~ 20th June. Here in Penwith, we have an incredible amount of artists who live and work locally.

Although there may be some restrictions still the festival will be a great opportunity to visit Penzance, experience the art atmosphere here and shop for local artworks!

In June, my husband Andrew Swan and I will also have a small art exhibition in our favorite gallery, Daisy Liang. And Penzance Studios, a local artist organisation with 66 members, will have a grand exhibition called “Into the Light” in the Gallery of Penwith School of Art, a famous historical building in Penzance.

What’s your favourite Cornish beach?

There are so many beautiful beaches in Cornwall… When I first came, I might say Porthcurno Beach is my favorite. But now, I will say the beach near home. Between Penzance and Marazion, the Long Rock beach is where we will go swimming, sun-bathing, low-tide stroll or just sit there with a cup of hot chocolate!

What’s special about Cornwall to you?

I enjoy natural and wildlife with a lot of walking, camping and swimming!

But actually the best part of living in Cornwall is that you don’t need to go somewhere special. We are already living in it!

Walking past a garden there are squirrels which approach you for food or working in my allotment we have robins helping me to clear slugs. Strolling along the Promenade the view is always amazing but different all the time. Turnstones search for food, sea birds diving and coming out with a fish in its beak, seals popping up and playing in the bay. Life here doesn’t have to be dramatic, here in Cornwall there are small events of happiness all around us!

When your first visitors arrive in Cornwall post lockdown, where do you take them first that shows Cornwall in all it’s beauty?

There are so many great places to show off, and I will arrange different things in different seasons! Some of my favourites include Botallack, Trevaylor woods near Gulval, Porthkidney Sands, Porthgwarra bird conservation area and the walk from Cape Cornwall to Gwynver beach.

And where will you head to eat after lockdown ends?

Lots of places – Honey Pot Café in Penzance, the Mackerel Sky Seafood bar in Newlyn and I’ll be buying fish from Stevenson & sons fishmonger in Newlyn.

“In The Forest” is an exhibition of porcelain sculptures set to open at Daisy Laing Gallery in Penzance. Taiwanese ceramicist Winnie Lyn has created a bespoke collection of carved and altered, reformed and refined porcelain sculptures, finished in mystery forms of shapes in the forest. Winnie Lyn is one of the key advocate and committee member of Penzance Festival of Art. Her practice concerns experience and memories, aiming to translate the truth and pretense of life into the mediums of ceramics, drawing and mixed sculptures. Currently, focusing on inter-generational narrative, around both human and human to environment dialogues. Winnie Lyn channels her concerns into abstract forms, which carry both an emotional charge and a “radiation” of meaning. From 3rd June to 3rd July, “In The Forest” will be exhibited in Daisy Laing Gallery, Penzance. More details please visit www. DaisyLaing.co.uk or WinnieLyn.Art

Rachael Reeves is showing her work at Jupiter Show Case, 3 Chywoone Hill, Newlyn. Most of the work on display is from the past year.

‘This past year has given me space to focus on my painting, I have yearned for this for some time, having restrictions of movement and time away from the usual demands of life enabled me to look to what I had around me. I appreciated the space I inhabited and began to look at it from a fresh perspective. I became interested in manipulating the space and forms and found that the paintings began to imbue a sense of displacement, disorientation and fragmentation. I was feeling on the one hand a sense of peace and joy and on the other a sense of dissociation and dread. Much of my work over the past has had echoes of dystopia and melancholia but the last thing I wanted to create were those types of images. In fact if anything I was drawn to spaces and forms that were more uplifting and enticing.’

The show is open from Sunday 16th May – Friday 21st May 10 – 4 pm with guest jeweller Claire Stockings-Baker. (Rachael will be in the gallery on Sun 16th, Wed 19th and Thurs 20th)

 

Looking Forward

‘After a year of being locked-down, shut-down and closed in, this show is a chance to reflect on past experiences, or look to the future and expand our horizons… Art can give us a way to explore our own souls – there has been a powerful energy in the NSA during these times of change and we’d like to invite people to come and share this. In the beautiful space of Tremenheere Gallery, you will undoubtedly find ‘Looking Forward’ thoughtful, serious, joyful, sometimes playful… and up-lifting’, Yolande Armstrong, Chair of the NSA.

Read more Looking Forward Press release

Sat 19 June – Sun 11 July 2021
Tremenheere Gallery

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Gulval, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8YL

The exhibition is subject to government guidelines

A solo exhibition of work by Phil Booth on the upper floor of Tremenheere Gallery. An exhibition of recent work comprising polychromed wall constructions, box works, art medals and works on paper.

 

Underpinning much of the work are critical questions about the many-layered and often dysfunctional relationship between ourselves and the natural world, challenging, for instance, the dualistic notion of an inevitable divide between humankind and nature. In some ways then, it may reflect a critical position, at other times, paradoxically, the work may be celebratory. A consequence of this central approach can be found in the fact that the language of the work explores the space between mathematics and art, geometry and flow, abstraction and figuration, and experience and myth.

Much of the work in this exhibition originates in reactions to encounters with the landscape, usually through drawing. An extensive development process brings together this material and other sources that can be entirely invented, revealing and enlarging new dynamics and discoveries.  Ultimately the meaning of the work lies in its presence, not illusion, expressing a sense of the physical world in a vibrant abstract language without replicating reality, creating a kind of personal geology that alludes to and celebrates the underlying forces of nature rather than merely depicting it.

The exhibition runs 8th May – 12th June 2021. Tremenheere Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm.

THE GALLERY, TREMENHEERE SCULPTURE GARDENS, GULVAL, PENZANCE

 

8TH MAY – 12TH JUNE

THE GALLERY IS OPEN TUESDAY – SATURDAY 11AM – 4PM

PRIVATE VIEW SUNDAY 23RD MAY 2.30 – 4.30PM

 

NSA Member Ella Carty is taking part in an online project created during the last year of the pandemic.  The project, called Telephone, involves different artists in a variety of disciplines making connections. Ella explains:

Telephone  has been a way of making connections artistically during a gruelling year of isolation and disconnection.

‘TELEPHONE is just like the kids’ game. A message is whispered from one person to another and changes as it is passed.

We whisper a message from art form to art form.

A message could become a painting, then music, then poetry, then dance.

We whisper each finished work of art to multiple artists so the game branches out exponentially.’

You can find out more about this interesting project on the Telephone website and Ella’s response to it on her own website.

WATCH THIS SPACE…

The NSA are proud to be part of Penzance Arts Festival 2021 – PZ.21/Create

Friday 4 – Sunday 20 June, 2021
(NSA taking part: from Sat 12 – Fri 18 June)

For more information visit: https://penzanceartfestival.co.uk/penzance-festival-of-art/

See also What’s On Timetable: https://penzanceartfestival.co.uk/events/month/2021-06/

The website will be updated as things progress. You can subscribe to receive updates.

NSA Member Kate Walters will be running two Summer Solstice workshops in June near St Just in West Cornwall.

Kate explains what to expect in the workshops:

They will be held outside on a beautiful wild and open Common not far from St. Just. There’s a strong and rocky Carn, a stone circle, a meadow, old tracks, and a group of 5000 year old holed stones. It will involve walking quietly and steadily for around 2-3 km, with frequent stops for rest, prayer and tuning-in. We will draw, make notes, and take time to tune in to wild and impeccable place…the coming of summer, and of course the Sun!

The cost per person is £50 and full details and booking information can be found on her blog.

WAC is back! Established in 2012 by artists for artists, the Wells Art Contemporary exhibition is scheduled to return to Wells Cathedral this summer. This yearly show welcomes artists working in all styles and media (including painting, drawing, print, sculpture, video and performance), and has been a springboard for many other successes. The deadline for entries is Tuesday 25th May 5pm and full details and entry requirements can be found here

Congratulations to NSA member Ken Turner on the publication of his book A Life Being Ken Turner.

The book, with over 100 pages of paintings in colour, describes his life as a painter from 1944 to 2020. Ken summarises it as follows:

The book traces my journey through many approaches to art from early watercolours to the later acrylics. Three London solo exhibitions (1964 -66), taught me to escape from the artworld and I started Action Space to bring art to the community as Social Sculpture. Then to angles, triangles, the abstract, and experiments in performance. The importance of my work today is focussed on dangers to the existence of our planet due to climate change. Also, the corruption of consciousness in terms of art becoming entertainment and stock exchange systems.  

   

Gilgamesh searching for everlasting life

Bomb Blast


The book can be purchased online here