Walking into the Out of Nowhere exhibition that has just opened at the Royal Cornwall Museum
in Truro is like treating yourself to a visual feast. Known as triptychs, huge paintings across three large canvasses adorn much of the wall space some of them brightly coloured and all featuring intricate details that demand a closer look.
Artist Noel Betowski has lived in Cornwall since 1987 and the inspiration he draws from his surroundings is implicit in his works, some of which, he says, took as much as two months each, working twelve hours a day, to produce. Its not hard to see why.
I have a rough idea of what I want to achieve when I start a painting but my original ideas develop and change in the process, said Noel. I havent seen the triptychs hanging together before and must admit to feeling overwhelmed. The museum has done a brilliant job and the gallery is wonderful.
It is the first time that Noel has exhibited in the museum but he has enjoyed considerable success since graduating from Central (now St Martins) School of Art in 1976. He has been a professional painter since the mid 1980s, exhibiting extensively at galleries including the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery, and his works appear in numerous private collections throughout the world.
The idea for Out of Nowhere was initially derived from a lino print entitled Emerging Geometry that Noel created in 1973 and the drawing of a fence he did whilst living at Muswell Hill, London, in 1980. Combining those approaches with the inspiration he continues to derive from his much-loved West Cornwall home and his lifelong passion for music, he has come up with a show that is both geometric and strangely mystical in its appeal.