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Late afternoon, last of the sunshine. Porthmeor, midges nibble. October 2012.
acrylic on board 20.5 x 23cm. £3250


All along the north coast of Cornwall are a series of steep sided valleys cut into the costal plain channeling the streams down to the sea. Each of these striking incisions into our topography result from the rains falling on the higher moorland and farmland inland; rains driven in by the Atlantic south westerly’s, puddling on grass and heath to later flow down and off the flanks of Cornwall. Rushing streams that eat away at the soils, push aside rocks and carry them both away in armfuls to the sea. The waters for millennia that have eroded and cut through the top soils to reveal the granite and rab beneath (processes emphasized by post glacial land shift) continue to follow their own self made paths; streams that meander between boulders and hedges under sallow and black thorn acting as boundaries for family farms and parishes.

For many years I have been attracted to these dramatic V shaped valleys – isolated pockets of shelter and seclusion hiding small unkempt worlds away from the blast of the Atlantic gales or the development of the flat lands.

As a youth I was drawn to the paintings of Bomberg, especially that series of dazzling brilliance, great sweeping brush marks focused on post war Trendine. And (maybe) in return I chose to paint Boscastle’s Valency Valley and then St Just’s Cot Valley in their autumnal splendor. Those vivid bracken orange and reds glowing in the late low sunlight, framing the ocean between the valley sides and small carved out fields, bisected by the stream; a repeated composition for my eye.

This painting is a small study of Porthmeor – Lower Porthmeor Valley near Gurnards Head on the coast between Zennor and Morvah.


Kurt Jackson 2014.