Sonia Sjoholm was born and brought up in Cornwall. Her artistic journey began in ceramics, but she communicates her ideas using a wide range of media in her work. She is a member of Taking Space, a collective of women artists in Cornwall.
Having studied with Pam Booth and Ron Wood, Diane Skinner feels there are two sides to her work: sculpting and coiling in clay, and then working in fibreglass and resin. Preferring not to cast, she creates individual bird-sculptures using her hands, manipulating the clay in order to shape each feather individually. Handpainting each piece also brings her birds to life.
Edgar Skinner and his wife Edith (a poet) lived in Salubrious House, Salubrious Place, St Ives, in retirement from his working life as a bank manager. Having lived for some years in Italy he was multi-lingual with a cultured interest in music, art and literature. First visiting St Ives in 1907 and joining the St Ives Arts Club, they decided to settle in Cornwall around 1910. (See Tovey) A studio was created in their home, and he worked in watercolour, mainly as an occasional pastime rather than with serious intent.
The couple involved themselves in all aspects of St Ives life, to the extent that Edgar took over the role of Borough Accountant during WWI when there was something of an hiatus, and supervised the artists' garden allotments in the food shortages of 1917. He was the first President of the St Ives Literary Society in 1919. As particular friends to and admirers of the work of Frances HODGKINS, the artist was to paint what became acknowledged as her most important work of her time in St Ives: The Edwardians (1918), a group painting showing Skinner, his wife and their maid.
Edith had been responsible for recommending Bernard LEACH to her friend Frances HORNE, who was so instrumental in encouraging the establishment of the Leach Pottery and supporting it financially. Tovey writes: 'Realising that finance and paperwork were not Bernard's forte, Edgar...offered his services. In April 1922, Leach indicated that Skinner was joining the Pottery the following month as "business manager and assistant craftsman", but he is generally referred to as the Secretary.' At this point the Skinners moved from Salubrious House and built a new home opposite the pottery (today a hotel known appropriately as 'Edgar's').
When the Hornes' business failed and financial support to the Leach enterprise dried up, Skinner's idea of obtaining some support from students interested in apprenticing themselves to the Pottery, by paying for the privilege and giving free service, was useful in tiding over some critical moments. When Edgar died in the winter of 1925, Leach installed tiles on his grave at Barnoon Cemetery which read "He went through life with outstretched hand of help."
Peter Skinner studied art at both the Redruth School of Art and subsequently the Tunbridge Wells School of art. He owned his own gallery in Bromley, Kent, where he restored Victorian prints and continued with a range of mediums, producing paintings and mixed media work.
Returning to live in Cornwall, and exhibiting here, he also sells work from the Gallery in Kent.
Katrina Slack was born in Exeter. She studied Sociology in London, subsequently gaining a post-graduate qualification in Photographic Journalism. While working as a photographer and a teacher, she became involved in the music industry, playing in a band, writing and touring.
In 2001 Katrina moved to west Cornwall, attending a variety of classes at Penwith College and St Ives School of Painting. She employs a wide range of media to express her concern for environmental issues. The art of Kurt JACKSON has been an influence on her work. Recently she received a commission from World Animal Protection to make a series of sculptures out of 'ghost fishing' gear, for display around the UK to promote their 'Sea Change' campaign. Locally, her work has been shown at Blue Mist Gallery in St Ives.