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Penzance artist shows at Royal Academy summer show

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: June 20, 2013

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PENZANCE-based Bridget Keen is believed to be the only artist from Cornwall to have a work in this year's Royal Academy of Arts summer show in London.

She is justifiably proud of having her painting Thorn Hedge selected from the original entry of almost 12,000 works.

Renowned for her paintings of Newlyn's trawler industry, Thorn Hedge, pictured, was painted long before she began her paintings of fishermen and their boats.

She says: "Ever since a child I've been fascinated by hedges, by what grows in them and what sprouts out of them, and used to draw plants, twigs, fungi and so on.

"When I was about 12 I won two book prizes from the Royal Drawing Society for my nature studies. Some time ago, when I'd finished painting Thorn Hedge I felt reasonably pleased with it but thought it too dark, and more or less forgot about it. It wasn't until I had rain in my studio and had to move all my paintings, I came across it again. I dusted it down, had it framed and felt it might stand a chance."

One can imagine her delight when she received the acceptance letter and her invitation to Varnishing Day.

"It was dampened a bit for me when, after the customary service in St James's Church, Piccadilly, all the exhibiting artists were allowed in for the first time to see the show, I found that Thorn Hedge had been hung the wrong way up. But it was quickly remedied.

"That aside, I wouldn't have missed it for the world, the whole Royal Academy experience is something I shall never forget, now I'm back to earth, to my studio and continuing my Newlyn paintings."

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  • manolomadam  |  June 20 2013, 9:47PM

    'Believed to be the only artist from Cornwall to have a work in this year's Royal Academy of Arts summer show in London' - believed by whom? The writer of this piece - presumably Frank Ruhrmund - has obviously not done his research. Penzance artist Cyril Croucher's work - The Escapegoat - was also selected for this year's Summer Exhibition and was sold at the private view. This is Cyril's fourth successful entry, two of which, this year's submission included, have been published in print by the Royal Academy. I have not yet seen this year's catalogue but I would imagine that RA's such as Ken Howard would also have submitted work, so although I congratulate Bridget Keen on her successful submission she is not the only artist from Cornwall to have been selected.