Belgrave St Ives - Modern & Contemporary Art

Alice Mumford RWA

Alice Mumford RWA (b.1965)

Born: 1965 / Columbia

Studied: Dartington Hall 19791982
Southwark College of Art and Design 19821984
Camberwell School of Art 19841987
Falmouth College of Art 1995

Teaching life drawing and painting at St. Ives School of Painting since 2001
Elected an academician at the RWA, 2010
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One person exhibitions:

2019
Composite Shadows, Belgrave St Ives

2018
The David Simon Contemporary Award, David Simon Gallery, Bath

2017
Strategic Colour, Belgrave St Ives

2015
Silver Light, Piers Feetham Gallery, London
Colour from Coast to Coast, Belgrave St Ives

2013
First Light, Belgrave St Ives

2011
Taste It, Belgrave St Ives

2008
Jumpy Yellow, Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn

2007
Big Family Still Life, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives

2006
Featured Artist, Caroline Wiseman, London
Alice MumfordRecent Work, The Great Atlantic Map Works, Falmouth

2005
Alice Mumford, Belgrave Gallery, London
Summer and Autumn, Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn

2004
Alice Mumford, Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn

2003
Intimate Interiors & Favourite Objects,
Julian Lax, London

2001
Alice Mumford, Cobra and Bellamy, London
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Selected mixed exhibitions:

2019
Summer Show, Belgrave St Ives

2018
Summer Show, Belgrave St Ives
Winter Exhibition, Belgrave St Ives

2017
Table Talk, Piers Feetham Gallery, London

2015
Summer Show, Belgrave St Ives

2014
Summer Show, Belgrave St Ives

2013
Yuletide: Modern & Contemporary Art & Design,
St Ives Summer Exhibition, Belgrave St Ives

2012
IMS Auction, Christies, London
RWA Open Exhibition, Bristol

2011
Winter Exhibition: Paintings & 3D Works by Fifty Contemporary Artists, Belgrave St Ives
Stoneman Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall
Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester

2010
MMXMAS, Belgrave St Ives
Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester
Works on Paper Art Fair, The Royal College of Art, London

2009
Three Representational Painters, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives
Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester
British Art Fair, LondonNew English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition,
The Mall Galleries, London

2008
Cornish Painting A Family Quartet,
Piers Feetham Gallery, London
Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Winchester
British Art Fair, London

2007
St. Ives Selected Artists, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives
A Postcard From St Ives, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives
Badcocks at Easter, Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn

2006
New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London
The Cornish Connection, Belgrave Gallery London
Places and Spaces, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives
Christmas Exhibition, Belgrave Gallery St. Ives

2005
From St. Ives To Newlyn, Caroline Wiseman, London
Inner Light, The Great Atlantic Map Works, St. Just
Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn

2004
The New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
St. Ives, The Human Figure and Landscape
Julian Lax, London

2003 Winter Miscellany, Julian Lax, London
Rainyday Gallery, Penzance

2002
Aldborough Festival, Piers Feetham Gallery
Rainyday Gallery, Penzance

2001
Cobra and Bellamy, London

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Publications

2018
Painting in St Ives: Be inspired by the artists that paint in this famous artists' colony, Article, Artists & Illustrators Magazine
2017
Strategic Colour, Catalogue Essay, Dr. Ian Massey, Belgrave St Ives
Strategic Colour, Exhibition Preview, Pip Palmer, Galleries Magazine
2016
Colour From Coast to Coast, Book Review, Henry Malt, The Artist Magazine
2015
Colour from Coast to Coast, Monograph, Dr. Ian Massey, Sansom & Company
Colour from Coast to Coast, Exhibition Preview,
Nicholas Usherwood, Galleries Magazine
Colour from Coast to Coast, Book Review, Cornish World Magazine
2014
Buying art: In the Frame, Contemporary Still Life, Feature, House and Garden Magazine
Alice Mumford, Feature, Country Life Magazine
2013
First Light, Catalogue Essay, Richard Selby, Belgrave St Ives
Silver Light, Catalogue Essay, Anthony Eyton RA, Piers Feetham Gallery
Alice Mumford, Feature, Cornwall Today
2012
Five of the Best, Article, The Cornishman
Learning from Bonnard, Feature, Artists and Illustrators
Sophie Conran Q&A, Article, Home & Antiques Magazine
2010
Colour Blast, Catalogue Essay, Michael Bird, Badcocks Gallery
Colour and Charm, Feature, Country Living
2009
It All Started with a Table, Feature, Good Housekeeping
2008
An Engagement with Life, Feature, Cornwall Today
2007
Big Family Still Life, Catalogue Essay, Peter Davies, Belgrave Gallery St Ives
St Ives 1975 2005: Art Colony in Transition, Included Artist, Peter Davies, St Ives Printing & Publishing Company
Painter's Palette, Article, Create Your Own Country Home, Country Living Magazine
2004
A Room with a View, from the Prosaic to the Dramatic, Feature, Inside Cornwall
2003
The Art of Patience, Feature, The Lady
A New Camberwell Talent, The Antiques Trade Gazette
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Selection of past texts

Overview of Coast to Coast exhibiition (2015)
Soft edges shimmer, yet the object remains defined and tactile. All these elements are infused with seductive Cornish light.'


Following a hugely successful exhibition 'First Light' at Belgrave St Ives in 2013 this new exhibition in September is the culmination of two year's work made in three studios used by the artist. Most important amongst these is Mumford's main studio, located at her home on an old farm half way between St Ives and Penzance. Other paintings derive from an occasional studio in Portscatho on the south coast of Cornwall, and a room at the St Ives School of Painting on the north coast, where she is a highly respected teacher. As cited above by Richard Selby, Director Redfern Gallery, London, the Cornish light infuses objects and so the paintings and 'vibrant colour is balanced and composition considered, but not forced. Strong abstract qualities within the negative space suggest intrigue'.
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Introduction to 'First Light' exhibition catalogue (2013)


I have known Alice since the early eighties when we both studied painting at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts in South London. She has retained those qualities I always remember about her work, right from the early days: raw and honest responses to what she sees with a determined and passionate eagerness to paint.

Life drawing was still considered important during our time at Camberwell. And certainly for the first year we enjoyed that discipline without question. Training your eye to analyse the subject and the space it occupies is an essential part of working from life. This has always been the bedrock of Alice's painting. And her intuitive understanding of colour breathes life into the new work.

Alice's paintings are characterised by lively and immediate surfaces. Vibrant colour is balanced an composition considered, but not forced. Strong abstract qualities within the negative space suggest intrigue. Soft edges shimmer, yet the object remains defined and tactile. All these elements are infused with seductive Cornish light.

There is a sense of discovery in her paintings which has evolved and is a reflection of her life. Alice is clearly aware of many traditions in painting through the ages, and echoes of Bonnard, Morandi, Winifred Nicholson and Matisse resonate. However there are definite Cornish roots and it will be interesting to watch which way they continue to grow.

The works have a dreamlike, almost ghostly quality to them as they evoke a connection with memories and past lives. People have either just left or are out of sight. The feeling of a moment interrupted.
Tantalising views through windows which are the source of an ethereal light.

I am lucky enough to live with several of Alice's paintings at home in London. Their intimate warmth emits a light of pleasure, intrigue and hope.

'I like that harmony to be expressed in colour. For colour is one of the surest means of expressing joy - the joy that resides in a happy home ' Winfred Nicholson (from Unknown Colour - Paintings, Letters, Writings by Winifred Nicholson an anthology compiled by Andrew Nicholson, Faber & Faber, 1989)

Richard Selby, Director, The Redfern Gallery

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Introduction to 'Big family - Still LIfe' exhibition catalogue (2007)

Alice Mumford is fast becoming a pre-eminent still life painter with a proven market for her exquisitely nuanced and impressionistically modelled light-filled interiors. These are inhabited with posed or randomly cluttered tabletops behind which lie windows onto the outside world. The interface between domestic and exterior becomes, in her own words, an analogy for our inner and outer worlds. This posits an introspective and pantheistic mood that gives depth, empathy and heightened appreciation to the most ordinary and commonly encountered scenarios.

Compositions like 'Flowers on the Studio Table' and 'The Yellow Jug', with their beautifully pitched tonality, churned painterliness and relaxed but sensitised paint handling, also contain a human drama in absentia. Richard Demarco's estimation that they symbolise the presence of human beings points not only to the obvious social functionalism of teapot, flower vase, jug, beaker or fruit bowl, but to the fact that for this artist such reassuringly familiar objects contain what she again describes as something of the warmth of the family. This exhibition's title 'Still Life - Big Family' refers obliquely to her large, old and rooted Cornish family. Yet her brand of painting eschews social narrative and psychological disruption for a beautiful quietism where the play of light on silverware, lustrous ceramic, patterned tablecloth or wallpaper imparts a soulful mood of self-containment, restful reverie and repose from the hustle and bustle of human interaction.

Mumford's heritage is therefore rich on the social and cultural front; as one of the last Camberwell students during the 1980s Mumford showed respect for the grand painting tradition, looking beyond the Euston Road, Sickert and the English impressionists to the great Dutch and Italian traditions of still life. She negotiated these traditions not through rhetoric, strident gesture or bogus cutting edge iconoclasm but rather through an intimacy with the language of paint perceived as more than a mere descriptive vehicle. No wonder a former tutor Anthony Eyton told Mumford that they had quite a lot in common. And other former tutors like Sargy Mann and Phil Amey would attest to the fact that Camberwell's atmosphere of seriousness about painting had rubbed off on her.

A certain humility accompanies Mumford's approach in which the futile cult of the new is sidelined for a constant and refreshing re-invention of the fundamental and timeless language of painting. Like Morandi, Vuillard, Gwen John and the Intimistes, Alice Mumford is an artist for all seasons who can animate an ordinary corner of a room with the full presence of the here and now.

Peter Davies