Roy Walker, James Van Hear and Naomi frears

(c) Dr Nicholas Van Hear (son); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
The Beach No. 2 by James Van Hear Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection

Three of the artists whose work we will see at The Castle, Bude from Dec 27th through January 2015 are Roy Walker, James Van Hear and Naomi Frears. Unfortunately it was impossible to find anything about James Van Hear but this little collage work above calledThe Beach 2 is quite intriguing in rich blue and red with sand. It was painted on copper in 1965 and is 18 x 13cm. The artist died in 1991.

The other two artists that I chose to study, Roy Walker and Naomi Frears both have etchings included in the exhibition that they first made as part of a portfolio of 10 etchings by different artists that were sold to raise money for the building of the Tate St. Ives. £18000 was raised this way.

Evening Breeze’ by Roy Walker 1990 

Evening Breeze, 1990, Etching by Roy Walker, owned by Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection

Roy Walker was a painter and printmaker. He became Director of the Penwith Print Workshop. As well as making his own prints he helped to make prints for many of Cornwall’s leading artists including Bryan Pearce and John Wells. He developed new printmaking techniques including the use of steel as an etching plate.

In his work he had a love of form, colour and light and shapes that he used recurrently  He was drafted into National Service in 1954 and the theme of flight would  constantly reappear in his later work.

He was renowned for his figurative work and his etchings.

Roy Walker made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Cornwall and particularly in St Ives where he achieved an impressive reputation as an artist, painter and printmaker.

Hi work is exhibited widely including London, Germany, Holland, Saudi Arabia and USA.

His work was commissioned by Tate St Ives. 

Roy refused to be confined by the usual artistic restraints and was always searching for different ways to express himself. Although he was especially renowned for his figurative work and etchings, his artistic style was totally eclectic. He was continually experimenting with different mediums and styles. His later work even began to exceed the confines of his studio, as he worked on a larger and larger scale. 

World Cup’ by Naomi Frears 1990

World Cup, 1990, Naomi Frears, Etching, owned by Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection

Naomi Frears studied at Sunderland College from 1982-1986, and won a Printmaking prize. Her paintings now borrow from her printmaking in that she ignores rules of painterliness preferring to bring the image in a concrete form akin to  a printmaking language.

She currently works from Porthmeor studios at St. Ives. The way that she works is a trial and error kind of way. She makes many drawings and selects images for the painting. There might be several other images embedded in the image until she achieves a rightness, but the image she ends up with is one that is brief and to the point. She is also concerned to get it graphically right.”

Just as writers constantly jot observations in notebooks so Naomi relies on her sketchbook. The work shown is an early work. 

Now she exhibits widely including London and USA. She is currently exhibiting at the Newlyn Gallery  until 3rd January and at the Falmouth Gallery until Jan 15th

The work of Naomi Frears is very influenced by the love she has for her family and her husband’s head and figure is a constant theme. 
Like graffiti or the half-obliterated fragments of a fresco, Frearsimages lie embedded in the physical surface of her paintings.

Poetically brief and to the point, they convey a wonderful tenderness… The images Naomi Frears uses come from her never-ending search, mapped out in sketch books, among people and scenes around her or, just as likely, from Giotto, from films or Greek sculpture. She is hungry for images all the time. ” Elizabeth Knowles from her essay