As we head towards the New Year, I would like to celebrate the year passing and look forward to 2022.

2021 was another year filled with challenges for very many, and we redoubled our efforts to deliver programmes of work that recognised those challenges and which adapted to support many of those who really needed it. Through this focus, we found a new sense of purpose that will shape our work over the next five years.

There are too many individual projects to reflect on here, but our current programme well illustrates our new agenda. Through national partnerships, most notably with the Arts Council Collection, we have found ways to support our local communities.

Seen is co-curated by my colleague SHARP and young LGBTQIA+ people from Cornwall aged between 11 – 19 working in partnership with an exceptional Cornish charity, the Intercom Trust. The young people took part in workshops over many months to discuss their aspirations for the show, and to consider how they could create an exhibition that would leave a legacy for the gallery, but most importantly for LGBTQIA+ communities across Cornwall.  As one of the curatorial team put it…

“Seen is to be connected and not alone or remote.”

They created a show with a stellar cast of artists and transformed The Exchange into a safe space for the community. If you haven’t had an opportunity to see the transformation for yourself, do pop in before it closes on Sat 8 Jan.

At Newlyn Art Gallery in the autumn, we adopted a similar approach with What Lies Behind; this time inviting people referred to the gallery through social prescribing programmes, to make an exhibition reflecting their hopes for the year ahead: a show and a process filled with joy and colour. This film introduces the project and the process, through the voices of those who took part.  It’s a moving testimony to the project.

I hope you enjoy it.


In 2022, we will continue to support our communities to curate exhibitions from the Arts Council Collection, with Captured Beauty and Simple Truths,  but we will build on this with new partnerships with national institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery.

Our work in schools will grow. We are working, with help from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, across nine primary schools in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, presenting more than 60 artworks from the Arts Council’s Collection, and Cornwall Schools Art Collection across the cohort. The artworks are being used as a basis to support art training for teachers, building their confidence to make art and creativity a central part of each young person’s education.

Our work supporting older people in our community also continues and our programme Tea, Cake & Art is central to that work and was the subject of our Christmas fundraising campaign. Thank you to everyone that donated to help keep this vital part of our programme in 2022.

Finally, a huge thank you to you for your continuing support of the gallery and making possible all of our work, including that focus on communities.

Very best wishes for a happy and safe 2022 from all of us at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange.

James Green

Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange

  • Seen, exhibition photo by Ian Kingsnorth photography

  • What Lies Behind, photo by Ian Kingsnorth photography

  • Sunil Gupta, India Gate from the series 'Exiles', 1987 © the artist.

  • Ifeoma Onyefulu, Hausa Women, 1987 © the artist.

  • Art Intensive Training Day; photo by Steve Tanner