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Cambridge's final Kettle Yard exhibition opens at Fitzwilliam Museum


By Adrian Curtis


The Sea to Shore display at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge which is last of the travelling exhibitions from Kettles Yard. Pic - Richard Marsham
The Sea to Shore display at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge which is last of the travelling exhibitions from Kettles Yard. Pic - Richard Marsham

Sea to Shore exhibition runs until August 27

The final off-site Kettle’s Yard exhibition before redevelopment work at its Castle Street home is completed has opened to the public at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The off-site programme has given curators the chance to present artworks that are usually permanently displayed in the rooms of the Kettle’s Yard House in new and inspiring spaces.

The exhibition, Sea to Shore, brings together paintings of seascapes, ships and boats by British artists Alfred Wallis (1855-1942) and Christopher Wood (1901-1930).

It is the third time that the Fitzwilliam, in Trumpington Street, has hosted artwork from Kettle’s Yard while the redevelopment work has been going on.

Alfred Wallis took up painting in his seventies ‘for company’ following the death of his wife in 1922. Working from a small terraced cottage in St Ives, Cornwall, he produced hundreds of paintings using the materials around him, from industrial ship paint to scraps of cardboard packaging.

In the 1870s Wallis had been a ‘mariner, merchant service’, crossing the Atlantic, before going on to work on smaller fishing boats closer to shore. It is from these experiences that he took inspiration; he almost always painted from memory, recalling his days at sea.

By contrast, Christopher Wood was young, worldly and ambitious for his art, living in Paris for much of his short life. During a visit to St Ives with fellow artist Ben Nicholson in 1928, he encountered Wallis for the first time. Wallis’ untutored style and inventive use of materials had a marked effect on Wood’s stylistic development.

The exhibition runs until Sunday, August 27.

Entry is free.



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