Arthur Lanyon’s ‘Return to the Whale’



Anima-Mundi 14/7 – 15/8

“The skeleton of the whale furnishes but little clue to the shape of his fully invested body”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

This exhibition begins with a memory. A childhood painting made in response to encountering a pod of killer whales on the south coast of Cornwall. “They moved so fast, and mainly beneath the surface. I think I saw them but I really can’t be sure. The vagueness of that memory though was something my imagination ran with. I recall clearly the simplicity of the painting, I used household paint from big tins, covering vast sheets of beige paper. A hundred images of whales crowded in my head, then the creatures morphed onto the page like a pack of monsters.”. . .

. . . This exhibition is evidence of Lanyon’s advancing of his own acute visual awareness and language, one which undoubtedly brings to mind primeval imagary reached through shamanistic altered states of consciousness, for Lanyon his contemporary more secular take is more pragmatic but no less significant; “things become far more interesting when you no longer have full control”.

Joseph Clarke, 2016

View the online video tour

the virtual catalogue

and images of works from the exhibition

Street an Pol  .  St Ives  .  Cornwall  .  TR26 2DS  .  Tel : 44 (0) 1736 793121  .
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