Joan Gillchrest is established as one of the foremost naïve artists of her time. Just as L. S. Lowry’s work depicts the life and times of the working class people of Northern England Joan’s distinctive paintings of people going about their business will be forever identified with the fisher folk of Cornwall’s rugged Penwith Peninsula. Her work sits proudly alongside other great artists of the St. Ives School working from the nineteen sixties.
She was essentially a very private person who shunned publicity and could never quite understand the tremendous following for her work. Joan held strong views, didn’t suffer fools gladly and using her own words “could be difficult.” But for those fortunate to have known her she was warm, loving and generous. Her tremendous sense of humour, the concern and affection she felt for the people and places of Penwith will live forever through her paintings.