Studio Gallery: Sue Watt ‘Spinning on Porthmeor’

7th March 2020 - 6th June 2020

Sue Watt ‘Spinning on Porthmeor’


During 2018, I enrolled on the Porthmeor Programme run by the St Ives School of Painting. I thought the tutors would help me paint, but they did far more than that and opened my mind and I subsequently opened my life and this work is the result.

There are 2 strands to me, I am both an artist and a carer for my disabled son Tom. Both are fundamentally linked in my life and within my creations. The highs of creating help me balance some of the lows of caring. Similarly, the contemplative moments of caring help me to fuel my creative thinking. Some days I paint, some days I film or build, everything feeds and develops the work.

This body of work is called ‘Spinning on Porthmeor’ and is based on a hand made spinning toy that we make for Tom, who enjoys repetitive spinning. Using representative structures of a spinner, I have filmed, printed and painted the resulting shapes and forms into this work. Whilst studying the spinning, I realised that Tom is using his spinners as a form of communication and whilst we might never have a conventional conversation, we are almost talking through the interaction of the spinners.

This work forms part of an ongoing series of ‘care’ installations and films, which deal with other aspects of my life with Tom, both as his carer and his Mum. I don’t think I will ever finish this particular series in my lifetime, but for me personally I use the ideas to create and add meaning to my work.

The only constant in my life and work is St Ives and Porthmeor Beach in particular. It is where I find respite from the demands of my life and where my mind clears and I am at my most creative. It now makes perfect sense to me that the spinning with Tom at home would eventually make it to Porthmeor beach, everything does in some shape or form.

Sue Watt