Lockdown turns farm barn into contemporary art gallery

Thrown, a specialist ceramics gallery established in London in 2018, will open the doors on its lockdown-created gallery in a disused barn on the Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall, next week. It’s director Claire, 32, grew up on the farm where the barn sits, part of the Caerhays estate, and found herself returning there after closing the shop she had been renting in Highgate, North London, after the enforced lockdowns.

Speaking about setting up the barn, Claire said “After a lack of support from my landlord in London and no sign of the lockdowns ending, I decided to move my business out of the space I was renting and to work online. Specialising in ceramics and so working with 3D objects, simply putting thumbnails of works online didn’t seem good enough to do the work justice and so the idea came to find a space to set up an exhibition in and present it online via photos and videos so people could see these objects in context, in relation to each other and from many different angles. The barn has been a forgotten storage space, sectioned off from the farm, and so it felt like it was ready and waiting for us. At the start of this year we set up the first 2 shows, the first aptly titled ‘Adapt’, which were 3D mapped by Penzance-based company Perran3D meaning people could virtually visit the space via a Google Maps-like tour. Putting the images and virtual tour online, the response via social media was so strong – to the beauty of the space as well as the works on show – that we thought for the Summer, while everyone’s flocking to Cornwall, why not open it for real.’

The gallery’s Summer Show, a curated mix of leading and emerging names in contemporary ceramics, will be the debut physical show for the space, opening on Thursday 29th July in both the Barn and via the gallery’s website – continuing the gallery’s strong online presence learnt through lockdown. Featuring original works by over 25 artists and makers, many showing within the South-West for the very first time, collections include a new collection of bowls and jars by Matt Foster from the Leach Pottery, St Ives, a fitting new collection of ‘Sea Fever’ vessels by Jenni Hicks as well as new works just arrived from Spain by internationally acclaimed sculptor Roger Coll. The space, The Barn at Great Polgrain Farm, Caerhays, Pl26 6LZ, will open every Sunday-Tuesday throughout the show from 11am until 5pm while visits on any other day can be arranged by appointment