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24 September 2014

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Harriet Bell shows at The Newlyn
The lower Gallery
Exhibition at The Newlyn Gallery by Harriet Bell
The Newlyn Gallery is showing an exhibition by Harriet Bell.

Utilising materials that she finds in Cornish hedgerows from around her studio, Bell presents the death and decay of the natural world.
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+ Newlyn Art Gallery

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+ A show that presents the death and decay of the natural world.

+ The exhibition is rather like the remains from an archeological dig.

Harriet Bell is a collector, which is evident from the specimens she has gathered and arranged within the gallery space.

Museum-like archives
Work in the Lower Gallery

Materials such as stones, dried roots held inside milkbottles, empty eggshells, wiry stalks and folded cloth, are all examples from her collections. These specimens represent the death and decay of the natural world.

Like the remains from an archeological dig, the exhibition feels rather archaic.

The exhibition reminded me of old museum archives, of drawers that are brimming with specimens all held under a single pin in categorical lines.

The Lower Gallery displays Bell's works on paper. Like the forensic trace of plant or animal life, stains and etchings are covered with ill-fitting pieces of glass.

Delicate works in Upper Gallery

On entering the Upper Gallery, the room had an undeniable stillness.

Specimens are balanced on sheets of glass and covered with muslin. To add to the already delicate display, the twig-like table legs which hold these specimens, look almost as if they could fall at any moment.

Rather like a botanist uses specimens for scientific experiments, Bell then selectively displays her findings.

The exhibition seems to serve as a celebration of the ever-changing cycle of life. Absence, presence, death and decay, growth and metamorphosis.

* exhibition continues until 23 February

Paper Making

Saturday 2 February
10-5pm - Work with a local artist to learn the art of paper making using a range of natural and man-made materials. Fee £12

Half term activities for 5-10 year olds:

Pulp Action
Wednesday 20 February
10-12 noon

Decorative Designs
Thursday 20 February
10-12 noon

(younger children must be accompanied by an adult.)

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