Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Henrietta Graham - Artist to the fishing community.

When Mousehole based artist Henrietta Graham moved studio from Mousehole to Newlyn she didn't quite expect to become so closely involved with the fishing industry...


Like Newlyn School artists of 100 years ago Henrietta soon found herself drawn to capturing the sights, sounds and smells of the fishing industry at ever closer quarters...

though she's no stranger to taking inspiration from the food industry having painted captured over fifty of the country's well-known chefs...



subsequently, several works were created after early morning visits to the fish auction...


followed by a week-long trip to sea aboard the netter Karen of Ladram armed with borrowed oilskins, boots and sketchbook with skipper Sid Porter and crew for company...


where she was treated to some right royal sunsets...


and, in between stints on deck sorting and washing fish as one of the crew, she sketched life on board for future reference...


the following months saw the seeds of an idea grow from the initial fish auction work when Newlyn Harbour Commissioners commissioned her to create six huge works...


to adorn the rather dull, grey cement exterior of the newly re-furbished fish market...


each of the work depicts a different aspect of England's largest fishing port...


from the shoreside engineer, fabricators and welders...


to the guys at the heart of the business, the fishermen at work themselves.


Each canvas has been photographed and is then being printed on aluminium for permanent display. This week saw local photographer Steve Tanner checking the test prints with harbourmaster Rob Parsons before signing off the final prints. 

Covid restrictions permitting the grand unveiling is scheduled for just after the Christmas period. Henrietta and her work will feature on BBC news today (Saturday), just as the hugely significant negotiations between the UK and the EU and the fishing industry come to a head as Michel Barnier arrives in London for what is hoped are the final stages to end the Brexit deadlock.