Friday, 24 September 2010

Top o' the world, Ma: return from St Ives

Roof of the Tate St Ives (pic by Jan Jefferies)

Return from St Ives. And this time it's personal.

Arrived tired, weary and achy from a seven-hour drive this evening, and missing the town and friends already. Two weeks is never enough.

But it was an eventful couple of weeks. Apart from regular festival activities — poetry recitals and music at the lunchtime sessions in Norway Square — we saw dolphins vying with local fishermen for mackerel in the bay, and one of them receiving a thump from a revved boat, possibly on porpoise, upsetting the crowd of onlookers.



Watched the annual Shakespeare open-air performance on the Island: this year it was Much Ado About Nothing. (Featuring Chris Lanyon's naked bum with only a surf board to protect Benedick's modesty.) The Tate screened John Waters' original Hairspray movie on Porthmeor Beach. And we saw the fabulous Hamsters plus a rather dreary headliner Robin Trower at The Guildhall thanks to Hamsters guitarist, Snails' Pace Slim, sorting us out with freebies. That was a heart-pounding version of Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner, Slim.

Patrick Heron's studio at Porthmeor, St Ives

Had a final look around the Porthmeor Studio complex before it receives its long overdue makover, now that it's got a grant to fix the leaking roof, windows, flaking plaster and a undergo a complete remodelling. Resident artists leave in October and come back, hopefully, in the spring. The photo is of me and Jan Jefferies in Studio 5, the late Patrick Heron's studio, where I used to hang out as a teenager while he painted and fed me mugs of tea. I remember with great fondness those little masterclasses — Bonnard, British influence on the American modern school of painting, why the quality of light in St Ives has always attracted so many artists (a peninsular/isthmus, the town is surrounded on three sides by the sea, reflecting lots of ultra-violet light), the joy of colour, stripes, planes and the surface of the canvas as opposed to the frame as a window ...

Morris Dancers and Angels in St Ives

Peace and lurve, ma-a-an! Here's a sight rarely seen. Morris dancers watched by ice-cream-chomping Angels. The St Ives effect has the lion lying down with the lamb and purring.

Farewell, St Ives. Hope to see you in the spring.

Sun setting over Porthmeor Beach

6 comments:

Gwei Mui said...

Fab pics MM love the last one especially :)

D.B. said...

Gorgeous pics :) I've never been to St Ives, or anywhere in Cornwall for that matter. Nearest I've ever got is Torquay. It looks wonderfully remote and peaceful though. Love the idea of being in a place surrounded by sea on three sides.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pic of the sunset over Porthmeor Beach :)

Madam Miaow said...

Guys, you all have to try to get their at least once. It is a magical place. Early and late season is best. Avoid July and August.

reigs said...

Just listened to your prog on Radio 4 Madam - great!
I fell in love with Saint Ives as a child (am now 47) and always visit on my annual trip to Cadgwith on The Lizard. You can leave Cornwall but it never leaves you.

reigs said...

Just listened to your prog on Radio 4 Madam - great!
I fell in love with Saint Ives as a child (am now 47) and always visit on my annual trip to Cadgwith on The Lizard. You can leave Cornwall but it never leaves you.

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