Work News

Melanie Stidolph

Black and white photograph taken inside an artist's studio, looking out through a window onto a beach where a woman and a man lie, looking at the camera.

A strong defence of delicate things

‘A strong defence of delicate things’, Anna Lucas, Melanie Stidolph, Alice Walton

Auction House, Redruth. 23-27 June (10.30-5pm), evening opening 25 June (6-9pm)

A strong defence of delicate things is the result of an ongoing conversation between three women working with film, photography and found images. This installation brings together photographs from artist’s practice and archives, social media and fashion, staged within a provisional structure. Over five months meeting online the artists developed their shared interest in collaborative looking, working with images that fell loosely within categories of inside & outside, women in the studio, building materials, water, rocks and bodies.

This black and white photograph was taken around 1943, unknown photographer, inside Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall. The dark interior of the studio contrasts with the sunlit scene outside, with a still life on the window sill and curtains pulled to one side. On the beach, level with the sill, a woman and a man lie alongside each other. The woman is the artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the man is likely Robert H Wagner, an American GI who she formed a close relationship with during the war. Both in swimsuits with their legs stretched out, mirroring each other. A shovel leans to one side of the open window, suggesting they have dug their way out through the sand.

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With many thanks to Auction House for the invitation to be part of their programme and special thanks to Liam Jolly for his support. Thank you to the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust both for their kind image permission and generous financial support of the exhibition.