Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts


Gallery 3

Beverley Bell-Hughes: Tidal Echoes

28 November 2020 – 22 May 2021

Tidal Echoes presents a new body of work by Beverley Bell-Hughes, most of it produced specially for this Ruthin Craft Centre exhibition during the Covid lockdown. Bev draws much of the inspiration for her ceramics from Conwy Morfa, a sandy beach and mussel bank in Conwy Bay, just 5 minutes’ drive from her home. Most days, in the late afternoon after a day of making (and under pressure from her dog Ben) she walks the sands there. The beach has been quiet without all the tourists, she says, which has been blissful. She likes to visit the beach after the tide has gone out. The eddies and fissures left in the sand, along with beachcombed rocks and shells, all feed into her work: ‘The exhibition is called Tidal Echoes because everything that I make relates to the sea and the beach. The echo is a suggestion; something to do with the sea but not exactly what has been seen.’

Bev thinks of her work in her solo exhibitions as groups of individual ceramics put together; a group of pieces that complement each other. Her work, she says, needs space and doesn’t look good ‘cluttered’ up. Some of her pieces need to be high up, off the ground, as the bases are very important and some can be turned on their sides. Here in Ruthin there is the space to do her work justice. The whole exhibition tells of her love affair with the sea. In fact, Bev’s ceramics are so much of the sea, they look as if they should smell salty. They are faithful to all her (and our) long-held memories of seashores, of rough elemental seas and the patterns left in sand by powerful tides. After seeing her ceramics, it can be no surprise that Bev prefers her muse – nature – to be a bit edgy: ‘I like going to the beach when the waves are quite strong. I love thunderstorms and I like huge waves. I like it when it’s raining as well and windy on the beach. I like it wild.’