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Barns-Graham touched down on the island of Lanzarote on Thursday, 16 February, 1989. She had been invited by a friend with whom she stayed, the villa situated on the east coast north of Arrecife, Lanzarote’s main town. The visit was a huge success, leading to her making four further visits, the last in 1993.
As well as marvelling at the black rock formations and strange conic hills of the island, Barns-Graham’s extensive study of Lanzarote’s lava fields is consistent with her interest in geological forms that create the structure of a landscape. Since her move to Cornwall in 1940, her drawings constantly reflect the patterns, natural and man-made, of a place, be it of the Scilly Isles, Switzerland’s Grindelwald Glacier (1949), the quarries and ravines of Tuscany/Sicily (1953-1955) or the rocky edge of the Balearics (1958). That she made five trips to Lanzarote in as many years indicates strongly that she found the lava landscape inspiring.
The Lanzarote collection is a remarkable and significant body of work from Willie’s later career, the extent of which is yet to be fully assessed. This exhibition, that celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of her first visit, illustrates the breadth of what she achieved.
- 10.00 – 6.00 Monday – Saturday