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Press Release | Martha Holmes & Akiko Hirai at New Craftsman | 25 May - 21 June

Press Release

26 | 03 | 24


Martha Holmes | St Ives & The Studio

with ceramics by Akiko Hirai

25thMay to 21stJune 2024

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Martha Holmes |Spring Morning from the Beach Hut

From 25thMay to 21stJune, New Craftsman Gallery presentsSt Ives & The Studio, a new collection of landscape and interior works by artist Martha Holmes. This series, painted in summer 2023 and late spring of 2024, draws on both the soft colours of the land and sea surrounding St Ives, and the warmer, richer hues of compositions created within the artist's studio.

Martha's landscape works were painted during long days spent documenting the seasonal shift from winter to spring, and the arrival of longer, lighter days, from hut at Porthgwidden. Working on both board and linen, using broad applications of colour and freely applied marks, Martha has paired the greens of The Island with the vivid blues and soft whites of Porthmeor Beach in a semi-abstracted way that captures the delicate changes in colour evident throughout the coastal landscape. Alongside these works is a new series of paintings informed by time spent at the Porthmeor studios in the summer. With a direct view of Porthmeor beach from the studio window, Martha explored layers of her studio's internal space against the backdrop of external landscape. These works take jugs of seasonal blooms, bowls of lemons, handbuilt vessels and Martha's own finished paintings leant against walls and surfaces, to create an interior language of colour and shape with a feeling of the elemental space beyond.


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Akiko Hirai ceramics

Accompanying Martha's exhibition is a new collection by Japanese born ceramicist Akiko Hirai, whose highly regarded work fuses both Japanese and British ceramic traditions. This experimental collection explores ideas of antiquity and deterioration. Her glazed surfaces deliberately resemble paint that has been peeled off by long exposure to sunlight, partly revealing a layer of rustproof paint underneath. These works explore ideas of chaos and unpredictability, and the concept of physical things and emotions combined in a way that moves the artist and the viewer towards a sense of ultimate stability.Akiko Hirai studied ceramics at the University of Westminster and Central St. Martins, London, and her work is collected internationally.

New Craftsman Gallery, 24 Fore St, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1HE |



Print Ready 300dpi images for press use:

MARTHA HOLMES Spring Morning from the Beach Hut

AKIKO HIRAI ceramics 

Editors Notes

New Craftsman St Ives

With an international reputation amongst art and craft collectors for its painting, sculpture and quality studio ceramics, the New Craftsman is regarded as one of the most important spaces for contemporary artists in St Ives. Founded in the mid-1960s by potter Janet Leach, it holds an unrivalled reputation as one of the country's leading art and craft venues. Today the gallery's annual programme of mixed and solo exhibitions continues to support the work of Cornwall's and the UK's very best painters and craftspeople.

New Craftsman Gallery, 24 Fore Street, St. Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE|


For further press information or additional images contact Mercedes Smith at Fine Art Communications |

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