The final show of Kestle Barton's 2021 season is a new film work in three parts titled Ray and Susie by Naomi Frears.
The Ray of the title is acclaimed sculptor Ray Exworth (1930 – 2015). He lectured at the Royal College of Art and Royal Academy Sculpture School and came to Cornwall to set up the sculpture department at Falmouth School of Art. For forty years he lived with Susie, his wife, and worked in relative seclusion at his home in Cornwall.
Frears was commissioned to make a moving image work that responded to the work and the world within the extraordinary sheds and buildings that house Ray’s sculptures. Kestle Barton has featured two previous exhibitions about Ray’s work because of the quality of his work together with the unique combination of care and chaos in the studios. Frears chose to focus not only on the atmosphere within the studios but on Susie, and her contribution to Ray’s working life.
Ray and Susie takes the form of three short films that, together, make a portrait of Ray’s work, of Susie, and of the house and life they shared in Cornwall. The work offers a sensitive insight into the creative process of Ray Exworth as well as a consideration of the importance of an understanding and enthusiastic partner to an artist.
In 2016, Frears exhibited 10, which was filmed over several weeks through her studio window on Porthmeor Beach in St Ives. 10 consisted of three, short, looped digital projections that explored different types of human activity and behaviour. Ray and Susie follows on from this, with an intimate examination of creative partnership and the use of projections to create parallel film sequences in conversation with one another and with the gallery viewer. The work will be presented in a dark box environment.