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'Studio Chatter' - Easing my way back in to exhibiting

Updated: May 30, 2023

My art practice has taken a different direction over the last decade. It has shifted from working solely with digital print to more of a drawing and painting practice with some ipad digital sketching in between.

The last major exhibition that I took part in was Origin: The London Craft Fair at Somerset House in 2006 where I exhibited a collection of digitally printed wall panels and silk scarves. I remember it very well as I was pregnant at the time with my first child. Unfortunately, I cannot put my fingers on a photograph of the exhibition, we had a hard drive malfunction at that time, loosing many photos including those of the new baby that followed!

But I can remember that this exhibition was a pivotal moment for me. It was during this show that I realised I needed to pick up a paintbrush again and put marks on paper and canvas. Solely creating digital art wasn't filling up my creative cup. I was missing the painting, drawing and sketchbook journalling that I had spent many hours on at University, I needed to re-connect to my work. The only way to get that connection back was to make my art practice more of a physical one. I needed to feel the paint sloshing around the paper and draw those first marks onto canvas. From that moment on, I stepped back from exhibiting my work and alongside raising a family, I steadily worked on developing my painting practice again. (The image below is from the year before my 2006 exhibition and shows my digital art collection that I am referencing)

Bovey Tracey Stand 2005, Suzie Pibworth
Bovey Tracey Stand, Crafts at Bovey Tracey 2005

Fast forward to 2023 and I have felt the confidence to exhibit my art work again. I have regained a balance in my art practice, working in my studio, sloshing paint around most of the time but dipping into some digital art making at times. My digital art practice feeds my physical painting and vice versa and this works for me, satisfying both the analytical and the creative side of my brain.

In March of this year, myself and seven other artists (Will Elliott, Laura Kent, Cat Lee, Megan Stewart, Sophie Simpson, Will Thomas and Ella Ratcliff) put on an exhibition 'Studio 21' at The Crypt Gallery, Society of Arts, St. Ives. This was a chance for me to show my paintings for the first time in a physical space. We spent the week engaging in some fascinating conversations with visitors, listening to stories unfolding about why a customer was buying a piece, where it would hang or who they were gifting it to. It felt good to be back in a gallery and to spend time talking to other artists in a supportive environment. The icing on the cake was to know that one of my paintings was heading to a new home in Canada.

Crypt Gallery Suzie Cumming
Studio 21 Exhibition, Crypt Gallery, St. Ives 2023 - Abstract Painting Collection

Studio 21 Exhibition, The Crypt Gallery, St. Ives 2023
From Left to Right, Work by Will Elliott, Laura Kent, myself and Sophie Simpson

Crypt Exhibition, Studio 21, Suzie Cumming 2023
Studio 21 Exhibition, The Crypt Gallery, St. Ives 2023 - Digital Print Collection

This year I am opening my studio doors for the first time ever to the public for Open Studios Cornwall 2023 Do come along if you would like to say hello, I will be open from 11am-5pm on the 27th, 28th and 29th of May and on the 1st and 2nd June. More details in the link above. I will be selling postcards, prints and original paintings from my studio in Cornwall.

I also have a painting in the Spring Open Exhibition at The St. Ives Society of Artists, St. Ives which is open until the 10th June. It is a beautifully curated exhibition featuring the works of many local artists so if you are visiting St. Ives pop in.

St. Ives exhibition, society of artists suzie cumming
Spring Open Exhibition at The St. Ives Society of Artists, St. Ives 2023

I would love to hear about any exhibitions that you are planning or that you have visited lately, leave a comment or drop me a line if you fancy. I'll leave you with a picture taken last week of Bamaluz Beach, St. Ives Cornwall. Summer is on its way!

If you would like to receive regular updates of what is happening in the studio and also be notified of any offers that might be coming up then you can join my mailing list. Click here to sign up! You will also receive a 15% off discount code for my website shop. See you next time!

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