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Discover the intriguing Tom Early

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

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FALMOUTH Art Gallery's new exhibition shines a spotlight on the little known St Ives artist, Tom Early, who died in 1967.

Visitors will discover rarely-seen paintings by Early hung alongside work from his friends and associates from St Ives and Derby, including Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sven Berlin, Sir Terry Frost, Denis Mitchell and Peter Lanyon.

Encouraged by Ben Nicholson, the self-taught Tom Early became part of the St Ives art colony in the late 1940s and 50s.

His mother allowed Nicholson (who was a near neighbour) to house his motorbike in her garage, and he and Early became close friends. He joined the Penwith Society of Artists and exhibited with them in St Ives and London, before he moved away to pursue a career in medicine.

Early continued to exhibit his distinctly personal and expressive paintings through the Derby Group, of which he was a founder member, and the Midland Group of Artists in Nottingham. In 2009 the artist's widow, Eunice Campbell generously donated eight of his paintings and drawings to the Falmouth Art Gallery Collection.

Gallery director Henrietta Boex said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase works by this vibrant and intriguing artist. Tom Early is so often overlooked despite being held in high regard by his contemporaries in St Ives and Derby.

"We hope visitors to the show will come away feeling they have made an exciting artistic discovery."

The exhibition can be seen at Falmouth Art Gallery from until June 21, open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, including bank holidays. Admission is free.

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