This book is a celebration of the lives and work of the artists of The South West Academy.
Included here is some of the best of the Academy’s art accompanied by photographic
portraits of the Academicians and personal accounts of visits to their studios.
with its introductory essay, this richly-illustrated book offers a complete and vivid picture
of the private and public face of the Academy.
Founded at the turn of the century the artist-members of the Academy follow in the
illustrious footsteps of those celebrated groups who, while often lacking formal structure,
joined together for the purposes of mutual support and fellowship – a meetings of minds
that inspired and encouraged individual creativity, or furthered a more original vision of
art than that of the mainstream.
In the Westcountry these included the internationally renowned Newlyn and St Ives
Schools, colonies of artists drawn together by both practical considerations and by the
elements of landscape and quality of light that gave their work a cohesive identity while
yet maintaining recognisable individuality. Mindful of this diverse historical context the
first ambitions of those who founded the South West Academy may have varied widely,
but it was ultimately a single vision that prevailed.
As the title of the book suggests, South West Academy: Art • People • Place establishes
the importance of the Academy within the wider social and artistic context of the region.
The achievement of its members, past and present, goes well beyond collective selfabsorption,
determining always to fulfill one of the Academies original precepts: ‘to
advance the education of the public in the Fine and Applied Arts and in particular to
promote the appreciation and practice of the Fine and Applied Arts’.
Michael Carter’s superb photographs and impressionistic pen portraits of each artist, combined
with the story of the Academy’s successful annual Open Exhibitions, its work with
schools and with young artists, provides a compelling study of the vitality of the artistic
community in the South West. Here the reader is able to share both in celebrating the best
work of these artists but also in acknowledging the importance of art, and those who make
art, in all our lives today.
Imprint: Halstar. ISBN 978 1 906690 53 3, hardback, 238x258mm, 160 pages. Published May 2014.