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Scilly artist: 'Islands could be an art destination'

Local artist Stephen Morris has suggested that Scilly should be promoted as an art destination.

Stephen exhibiting his work in Chelsea recently (tie by islander Liz Askins) - by Lois Morris

Stephen, who owns Glandore Gallery on St Mary's, said the islands are "almost missing a trick" and could follow the example of St Ives.

He told This is Scilly: "I think the fact that there are lots of artists on the islands is a good thing. I personally think the more the merrier. We all do different things. St Ives does really well because there are so many artists and it's known as an art destination.

"In fact I think Scilly is almost missing a trick, we should invest more in artists and promote them more. Scilly could be known as an art destination. We’ve got better light in many ways than St Ives, it's much brighter and cleaner."

Bathinghouse Porth Morning Tresco by Stephen Morris

However, he added: "I don't know how we'd do it exactly, though. It's difficult to get people to agree on things and there isn’t an Isles of Scilly School like there is a St Ives School. But the light here is so good, the colours are great, it's a fantastic place to paint."

He also conceded that St Ives can be "a bit of a circus" with so many artists.

Stephen offers tuition at the annual Art Scilly Week, but suggested that the art side "suffered a little bit" when put together with other events in an overarching Culture Festival. "Art Scilly got swallowed up with beer festivals and other things," he said. "Which is not to say art and beer are so far apart but the art side was lost a bit."

He also said it is a shame that cruise ship passengers tend to stick to town, saying they should be encouraged to venture further to visit studios and other businesses.

Stephen recently exhibited his work at the Parallax Art Fair in Chelsea, billed as the 'largest artist and designer fair in Europe'.


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