Tonight, you may find me baking a chocolate cake, whilst Coast plays in the background, but on Monday I was attending one of the open events for the Tate St Ives. The gallery fully reopens this weekend after a massive refurbishment and the addition of a large extension and more important than any of the above… it’s free this opening weekend.
St Ives, in general, is always good for a day trip, the light, the colour of the water, the food, the beaches- I could go on. With train tickets using a 16-25 railcard are around the £5.40 mark it even fits in with the ever-tight student budget, I’d recommend going as soon as you get the chance because it’s the kind of place where you feel like you’ve been on holiday for the afternoon, thus making it worth the one and halfish hour journey, this weekend you can also take advantage of a Cornish cultural landmark.
The pre-existing gallery has been slightly altered to make better use of the space and the walls are littered with modern art much of which relates to St Ives and/or Cornwall in some way- keep a look out for some Peter Lanyon’s, his paintings are much more attractive than the building displaying his name on campus! The old seamlessly leads into the large, new extension which is chiselled into the cliff- a room which feels decidedly more Tate Modern than Tate St Ives, the sudden sense of scale and the unusual light pouring in from the excavated skylights is stunning. This room currently hosts the Rebecca Warren Exhibit where you can wander between a variety of sculptures in mixed mediums including bronze and steel and you can always play my favourite game hunt the pompom, that will make sense if/when you see her work.
If you don’t like any of the art- very doubtful as there is such an eclectic mix there is bound to be something which appeals- you can always make your own by using magnets on ‘canvases’ all of which are inspired by pieces currently on display. I test drove this exhibit last Saturday and I can honestly say it was soooo much fun, it was like creating more sophisticated fuzzy felt pictures. The views from the café and semi-circular gallery are also breath-taking as they look out on Porthmeor beach- a blue flag beach which often makes best beach lists- it puts Gylly to shame!
St Ives has long attracted some of the world’s best artists and authors e.g. Barbara Hepworth and Virginia Woolf, as has Falmouth think Beatrix Potter and Kenneth Graham. We are imbued in an area of cultural and creative magnetism so it’s time to fully immerse ourselves.