This week Kim secured a second outlet for her painted and embroidered beach scenes, that until now have only been available through Sarah Adams’ Padstow Studio. Henceforth Kim’s work will be showcased at the Fowey River Gallery, a large, two floor space, right in the heart of town, moments from the water’s edge, on Fore Street. It’s a fine gallery, with high ceilings, and plenty of natural light, and lots of work, much of it by local artists. I have a hunch Kim will do well there, for the simple reason that her pictures are so beguiling. Beautifully executed they captivate everyone who takes the time to explore her charming vignettes of Cornish beach life: the paddlers and picnickers, the surfers and sand castle builders, the dog walkers and daydreamers.
It’s been a while since I spent any time in Fowey, a handsome town, with ginnels, fine pubs, and views at every turn. My friends Pat and Bruce had a tall house by the water’s edge, with a terrace where Pat, with a glass of wine in her hand, spent many hours craning her neck to count the stars. I was fond of the long, up and down, often muddy trek from Polruan, on the other side of the harbour, through the woods to the old jetty at Pen Pol. Then the long slog up around the headland and down to The Old Ferry Inn by the Bodinick Ferry. It had rained so much one time we left puddles on bar floor.
I returned to Fowey last spring to research a piece for The Sunday Times on the town, published to coincide with the Daphne du Maurier Festival. I showed Kim some of the places I’d been taken too, after we’d dropped off three of her pictures with Kevin, owner of the Fowey River Gallery. He seemed happy for Kim to concentrate her skills on the north coast’s beaches, notably Constantine, Harlyn and Padstow’s Harbour Cove, the settings of much her work to date. Nevertheless Kim aims to give her new gallery some images closer to its home. With that in mind we drove down to Readymoney Cove, at the western edge of Fowey, where, beneath a clear early spring sky, Kim took photographs, and got the lay of the land.
Before we left the area we took the lane, about a mile outside Fowey, off the Par road, that runs alongside Menabilly, the house and estate where du Maurier wrote many of her stories. Last year I’d asked a couple of local people, one a farmer and another walking two black labs, if one could see the house from road. I got the impression they don’t like people asking that question. The house remains an enigma, deep in a thicket of trees. Next time we’ll park up and follow the path to the beach.
Fowey River Gallery, Fore Street, Cornwall, PL23 1AQ. 01726 833828/foweyrivergallery.co.uk
The Padstow Studio, 30 Duke Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AB. 01841 533777/padstowstudio.co.uk