Date Posted: 28th January 2023

interior Sekers silk mill no 3
Parton Looking South


The Kelly exhibition is breaking all visitor records at the Beacon. The media have responded very well  and given us a lot of publicity. Five pages in full colour in Cumbria Life came out on the day of the opening. After 2 busy days at the weekend the Beacon had sold more annual passes than ever because people intend to come several times especially with another masterpiece from the National Gallery making its way north following Percy and also it makes economic sense.

It has been an exciting week so far. ITVX (Border television with a posh new logo) arrived Tuesday, spent several hours with us in the gallery and gave us a full 3 minutes at the end of that evening’s news. I sent details in the last newsletter in a mad hurry when I got back home which did reach most people but I’m sorry to hear it didn’t get to some of you in time for you to see it and an odd typo got through as well.

Helen Millican for Radio Cumbria came armed with a microphone on Wednesday to see what the fuss was about and stayed 2 hours.  She loves PK’s work and was full of questions. She thinks she has recorded 2 or 3 good pieces to be rolled out over the next few weeks. I will let you know when.

I’ve decided to throw something else in the pot to make a visit even more exciting. Many many people are asking us if there are ever any Kelly works for sale. They are becoming rarer and more difficult to find and the lucky people who own his works tend to hang on to them.  However they do appear in auctions from time to time (and fetch big prices). Castlegate House Gallery (my old stamping ground) get some occasionally which usually sell immediately at good prices and there are always a few smalls on my web site on the Works for Sale pages. All the works in the Beacon exhibition are on private loan (except the 3  which are owned by the Beacon) but there are three among them that can be for sale.

  1.   One of them is Interior of Sekers silk mill with three bright rolls of silk in vivid red, green and blue stretched out ready for further treatment. This was on  show in the Kelly retrospective at Tullie House 2017/18 and was much admired. 
  2.   A watercolour of Parton looking South towards the pier at Whitehaven and St Bees head. There is the little train hugging the coast. I think this was painted in the 60s when he was spending time at Rosehill and Hensingham and painting for an exhibition in the foyer of the theatre. Although Parton, the hidden village, has not changed much over the years, many of the old houses have now gone as they were regarded as insanitary but at least Parton is not yet blighted with inappropriate small and cramped shiny new building developments that are springing up everywhere.
  3.   A drawing of MT17 in Whitehaven Harbour showing many of the landmarks around it. Kelly has named it CHRISTINE (artist’s privilege) which dates it in the early 70s when his first wife Audrey was divorcing him and he had fallen madly in love with Christine Griffith, the wife of an ophthalmic surgeon. They had moved in together in a flat in nearby Distington.

 I have put all 3 on the web site in Works for Sale. MT17 has measurements and I will add sizes to the  other 2 this evening when I’ve checked them at the Beacon. ( I am there 1 – 3pm this afternoon) Come in and see them and make an offer that is in keeping with todays prices (each one is worth more than £5k as a starter guide). You can do this via the contact page on the Percy Kelly web site  at the bottom of the home page or e mail me