Painters and Posers
Saturday March 2, 2013 10.00-3.30 at Trinity Centre, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn TR18 5AP
David Tredinnick coined the term ‘posers’ for the models of the Newlyn artists, past and present.
The exhibition explores the conflicting claims about the identity of some of the ‘posers’. Stories about ‘posers’ who made the headlines, such as Eileen O’Henry (who posed for TC Gotch and Laura Knight) and was shot and killed by her jealous lover John Currie in 1914, or Swedish-born artist Rolf Jonsson (married to ‘poser’ Annie Payne) who was jailed for spying from The Chalet in the Ropewalk at Newlyn in 1915.
We focus on Phyllis Gotch and Alec Forbes who posed for their famous parents throughout their childhoods. Phyllis Gotch was the Child Enthroned and the Heir to All the Ages. Alec Forbes, aged 4 was painted by his mother Elizabeth standing on a chair framed by a Newlyn copper charger; Elizabeth based Myles, the hero of her lavish publication, King Arthur’s Wood, on him. Stanhope painted him in 1915 when he posed in his Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry uniform; he died on active service soon after.
Alan Shears will be showing some of the clothes and jewellery worn by Newlyners who ‘posed’ for the early Newlyn artists.
Penlee House and Gallery are providing a display about fishwives from their collection. Fishwife Betsy Lanyon made a living as a fish hawker but by 1883 she is listed in Langley’s diary as one of his models; he paid 6d an adult and 3d a child. By 1891 aged 84, Betsy listed herself in the census as ‘an artist’s model’.
Actors are also ‘posers’. How do our St Peter’s Players (formed 1962) compare with the Newlyn Artists Dramatic Society (NADS) which was formed in 1884?
We will be showing some of Bernard Evans’ more recent paintings of Newlyn Fish Market alongside some earlier works by the old Newlyn Artists. See if you can identify some of the men who have worked in the Newlyn Fish Market in the last 30 years and are depicted in Bernard’s work.