From 13 September until 10 October an exhibition of paintings and drawings by one of Cornwall’s true visionary artists featuring man made landscapes of the China Clay country around St. Austell goes on display at the Wheal Martyn Museum.
The exhibition is the brainchild of Simon McNair Scott who has been collecting Dyson’s work for many years. Simon told Roseland Online why he wanted to put on a show of Dyson’s clay country pictures. “Although in many ways this is a gloomy part of Cornwall – he somehow captures a rare beauty in a man-made environment which I find intriguing.”
Dyson, who was born in St. Mawes in 1936, had been a dentist before he turned to art full time in later life. He returned to St. Mawes to live in 1985 and began to create a large body of work from drawings to sculpture, paintings to ceramics and prints. His total output being two thousand works before he died tragically of throat cancer in 2003.
The paintings and drawings in this special exhibition feature the landscape and pits of the Mid-Cornwall Clay Country including Wheal Martyn and were produced by Dyson between 1985 and 1995.
The exhibition will also include Dyson’s deceptively simple yet sophisticated charcoal drawings. He said that, “a good drawing must have the smell of the day”. The overriding impression of his drawings is their sheer energy and vitality. These are drawings that in a line or a series of marks summarise a building, a road or a piece of machinery. The white of the paper is as important as the charcoal marks he makes.
It seems only right that Wheal Martyn Museum, which now tells the story of Cornwall’s vast china clay mining industry, including the history of the places Dyson drew, is hosting this exhibition.
Colin Vallance, Heritage and Operations Director at South West Lakes Trust which manages the Wheal Martyn Museum told Roseland Online, “We are proud to celebrate Dyson’s work at Wheal Martyn and his interesting take on the dramatic clay country landscape which surrounds us. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the Museum to welcome a new range of visitors through their appreciation and love of art, enabling them to discover the rich heritage of one of Cornwall’s largest industries. While with us they will see and explore some of the man-made features and industry artefacts which will have inspired Dyson’s work.”
Whether you are an art lover or are interested in the Cornish clay country and its history this exhibition will intrigue and fascinate. The exhibition is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm daily. Admission is free.