New art space showcases local talent at the store

Andy Garner exhibition displays fine art, and crafted belly boards and hand planes

It was the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato who said “Necessity is the mother of invention” – and so it is here at the store, where we’ve created a temporary exhibition space in our eat-in café area whilst we operate a take-out only service.

The idea is to showcase local Cornish artists, crafters and artisans and their beautiful pieces of work for all shoppers to enjoy and appreciate, whilst at the same time help fill the void left by the absence of the store’s much loved café until Covid-19 restrictions can be lifted further.

First to take up the opportunity to display their work is Andy Garner, a local fine artist and also the maker of superb handcrafted and hand-painted belly boards and hand planes. He also happens to work here at the Great Cornish Food Store three days a week, when not ensconced in his studio at Idless, just outside Truro, or down at the beach. 

On show is a selection of Andy’s abstract acrylic paintings alongside an impressive display of individualised, hand-crafted belly boards and hand planes, which would look just as cool taking centre stage on a wall at home as they would being ridden on the waves. All of Andy’s art is inspired by the sights, sounds, people and colours of Cornwall, with many of his creations also telling deeply personal stories. 

“We’re delighted to be able to provide this different kind of platform for local artists while giving our shoppers another reason to browse the store,” says Ruth Huxley, owner of the Great Cornish Food Store. “The café area is an ideal space to exhibit art as it’s such a light and lofty space, and we’re very lucky to have Andy in our team, whose talents spread far further than taking care of our customers.” 

Indeed, never one to blow his own trumpet, not only is Andy a great artist and crafter, he is also an amazing surfer. Often seen hand planing, boarding or surfing in the waters off the north coast, Andy came third in last year’s World Belly Boarding Championships. In fact, his custom-made boards are rarely out of the top 10 competitors at the Championships which take place every year in Perranporth in early September (this year notwithstanding). 

Andy’s work will be exhibited and on sale until the end of August. The Great Cornish Food Store is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am – 6pm. If any other local artists are interested in exhibiting in the space, they can email store@greatcornishfood.co.uk 

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