Patrick Heron


Dubbed in a recent restrospective as 'The Colour Magician', Patrick Heron (1920-1999) is today best known as one of St Ives' boldest painters of colour and shape. He was also one of the 20th Century's most erudite artists, and didn't shy away from critiquing the role of the visual arts within society.

The pull of Cornwall was formative to Heron and his work. Having spent a part of his childhood in the West Country, Patrick Heron later returned permanently in the Fifties, living at 'Eagle's Nest', his clifftop home from where he produced both his bold artworks, as well as the extensive critical literature in which he explored the role of art within the visual experience. 


Heron said of his use of colour that it 'is both the subject and the means, the form and the content, the image and the meaning in my painting' - there was to be no part of the canvas left as an afterthought. His works are to be thought of as exemplars of the freedom of the human spirit and all it can achieve. They highlight in turn the freedom of form - of which nature and his garden provided endless inspiration - and above all else, a true freedom of colour and expression.