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




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.


NSA member Daniel Turner will be exhibiting his work at the Picture Room, Newlyn Art Gallery  in a show entitled The Paint Club.

On show will be a series of small, individually framed, oil on panel paintings made over the last two years, part of an ongoing series The Paint Club. The themes within the works include peril, loss, devotion, and salvation.

“​I like the notion that all painters essentially operate under the same conditions and that painting is somehow a different thing Art wise. I think once you realise painters paint the way they do because they can’t do it any other way, have spent years working towards this realisation, then Painting and the trappings of The Painter become interesting subjects in their own right.”

Daniel Turner is a contemporary British artist working in Cornwall whose work examines the rituals of the painter, the act of painting and the nature and functions of the painting and the studio.

The exhibition runs from 5th November 2022 to 7th January 2023 at the  NEWLYN ART GALLERY, New Road, Newlyn, TR18 5PZ

Hils Tranter is featured artist in October 2022 at The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives, TR26 3DE
EVENT: Meet the Artist
Saturday, 29 October 2022, 10.30–11.30
Meet October Artist of the Month, Hils Tranter, over tea and cake in the snug at The Gurnard’s Head.
Hils Tranter lives and works in a quiet rural haven in west Penwith, surrounded by space and skies. Her artwork is rooted in observation – responses to internal and external weather and landscape – following what draws her attention. Journalling and mindful mark-making is at the core of her practice, often linked with themes of music, movement, rhythms and dance. Play, experimentation and daydreaming are essential to getting in the zone where magic can happen. Hils says:
“There’s usually an experience or a moment I’m trying to express or capture, though sometimes it feels like clutching at smoke.”

Ken Turner has lived and worked in St Ives since the nineties, and has been a constant

and passionate contributor to the West Penwith Arts ‘scene’, with his memorable live

performances, and provocative paintings. Between Friday 14th Oct and Wed 26th, at the

PZ Gallery in Penzance, Ken will show a selection of his paintings and drawings from the

1960’s to the present.  You are warmly invited to the Private View on Friday Oct 14th 5pm

to celebrate his life and work, where he will give a brief talk about the importance of artists’

studio practice  as a philosophical tool.

On Saturday 22nd October at 5pm there will be a  performance at the gallery, where Ken will

collaborate with dancer Stephanie Richards in response to his paintings.

 Ken will be in conversation with visual anthropologist Professor Amanda Ravetz on Monday 24th October


NSA member Ashley Hanson is showing his Porthleven series of paintings as part of the Porthleven Arts Festival on 27th September. There will be a talk and presentation of the 60 paintings in the series on Tuesday 27th September from 4-5pm at the Breageside Netloft. On Wednesday 28th September there will be a preview of the Freedom in Painting in Porthleven exhibtion from 5.30 – 7pm at The Old Lifeboat House and the exhibition itself will be open for 1 day only on Thursday 29th September from 10-5pm. on Friday 30th September there will be Open Studio and exhibition of 20 of the Porthleven series paintings at the same venue.



NSA member Stuart Ross has an exhibition of recent work opening at the Morvah Schoolhouse Gallery next month.  The show will run from 6th – 19th August, open daily 11-5pm.


NSA members Ashley Hanson and Sar Bor are showing work in a joint exhibition at the Crypt Gallery in St Ives, opening on Sat 11th and running until Fri 17th June. The Private View is on Sat afternoon from 4-6pm.

Friends and colleagues for 10 years, Hanson and Bor explore some of the same subject matter with distinct approaches.  Hanson has twin strands to his practice: the coastal work based on his love of the Cornish coastline and ports, and his book paintings. ‘Painting the Novel’ investigates the combination of a painting being both a tangible object and an illusion: both abstraction and figuration. Duality denotes the character of his paintings.

‘As an artist I crave/need surprise, not sameness: it is what you ‘do’ with the source material that matters, a piece must be its own thing and have a joyous independence.’ Ashley Hanson

With a deep-rooted connection to the land, Bor explores associations and memories of familiar places.  Her paintings investigate the geography of eroded moorlands, rugged coastlines and the haunting decay of industrial interventions. The physicality of the canvas symbolises the materiality of imagined and remembered places.

‘The essence of my practice is a correlation with the materials themselves and the processes involved.’ Sara Bor