Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mugged in St Ives - Day 11

Yes, a mugging. In deepest Cornwall. By a large seagull, of my almost-entire genuine award-winning Cornish pasty. We had a day mooching round St Ives: photos, much walking, Tate St Ives, and shopping through the galleries. Which galleries, St Ives being a notable artists' haunt for over 100 years, could be said to infest the place.

The Tate was frankly a disappointment: artists-in-residence contributed the bulk of the work, and whatever their blurbs, words and justifications, there was just too much puffery and not enough apparent skill for our tastes. But a find: as there always is. Alfred Wallis - a retired fisherman and self-taught painter. A child-like style, no perspective, painted in household paints on odds and ends of flat surfaces. But it spoke to us, loudly.

A beautiful day here: after a little morning rain and a brief shower of hail. Everywhere, old people were sunning themselves like lizards on rocks. The light, renowned for its quality for artistic endeavours, was there as advertised. The layout of the town prevents much traffic: there is park-and-ride at the top of the downs above the town. Some of the little connecting passageways between the already narrow streets are only 2 feet wide. So it's a very intimate little place, at least in the older parts, and this has certainly helped the artist community. Some names: Bernard Leach, pottery, and Barbara Hepworth, sculpture.

n early evening beer and meal at the Sloop Inn - Circa 1312. Welll, some of it, anyway - the walls, maybe. The rest is Grandpa's axe: three new heads and seven new handles. But good beer, dogs allowed in the bar - how civilised... - and a great cod/parmesan/salad.

No comments: