New Exhibition: Origins at The Heseltine Gallery
Part of Truro School's impressive art collection is currently on display in their on-site gallery, showcasing work from some of Cornwall's most influential artists
You may not have visited this Truro gallery yet but you will almost certainly be familiar with some of the internationally acclaimed artists, whose work is currently on display here. The Heseltine Gallery is Truro School’s on-site exhibition space, used for both student showcases and public exhibitions.
The new exhibition, Origins has been curated by sixth form art students and brings together a selection of the school’s impressive art collection, inspired by ‘a sense of place in Cornwall’.
The school’s historic collection was put together by former Head of Art and gallery namesake, David Heseltine. Comprised of drawings, prints, paintings and photographs, it features work from some of Cornwall’s best known artists, including Bernard Leach, Patrick Heron, Ian McKeever, Tom Cross and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.
David began building the collection before Tate St Ives opened and the idea was to inspire greater visual sensitivity among students, throughout the corridors and classrooms of the school.
He says, “I wanted to put forward that good, important art isn’t just made somewhere else, it’s made here. Artists are responding to exactly the same environment as you are. You walk along the beach at St Ives noticing light reflections on the sea, just as Julius Ollson did.” Forging relationships with working Cornish artists, David organised studio visits for his students too, recalling taking a group to Sandra Blow’s studio and how in awe of her work they were.
He remembers, “When I first began as an art teacher at Truro it was a boys’ only school. Corridors were adorned with faded, lifeless prints by old masters. I wanted to encourage students to debate work from an international network of artists, who had been drawn to Cornwall for more than a century.”
“Artists’ work in the collection is often site-specific, depicting a strong sense of place and it might tie to national or international art histories. This was the main criteria for acquiring the work. There might be a reference to Cornish society of the time, but artists have had experiences in other countries and cultures too, bringing an international quality. So the collection is not parochial or inward looking.”
Origins is open to the public on Wednesday evenings, from 5-8pm and Saturdays, from 10am to 3pm in the Heseltine Gallery, above the school’s chapel.
Visits for school groups can also be arranged by emailing Art Teacher and Gallery Manager, Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All quotes taken from David Heseltine and Vicky Cucknell in Conversation by Arts Writer, Ali Day, which you can read in full at the Heseltine Gallery.