Monthly Archives: October 2013

Free-range Cornwall: Trewyn Studio

As a long-time Barbara Hepworth worshipper (Female! Abstract! Successful!) this was on the must-see list. Her modest studio and home, tucked away up the hill behind the Tate St Ives, has been preserved much as it was after Hepworth’s death in 1975. The garden is full of her work, but what was most moving was the number of unfinished pieces in her workshop. She died in a fire aged 72, likely from a lighted cigarette left burning while under the influence of painkillers and whiskey – she had cancer of the throat and used whisky to get to sleep.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

The house doesn’t feel tragic however – more slightly tidied up. Hepworth had too many ideas for a lifetime, and it shows. The garden, plants and cacti give a glimpse to some of her possible inspirations. I can’t pick one piece as a favourite, there are too many good reasons to visit. If you are here, try to arrive to take the tour, lots of small details that expanded my appreciation her achievements. And then go to the Hepworth Wakefield, 400 miles away in West Yorkshire, (her birthplace) which which holds a large collection of her work. This includes 44 maquettes, working models and drawings which give a comprehensive insight into her creative process.

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Free range Cornwall part 1

It’s true about Cornish light. Light and dark meet in vivid contrast yet nothing is lost – instead all seems to glow. There’s a painting in the Tate St Ives at the moment that sums it up beautifully, A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach by Stanhope Alexander Forbes.

A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach by Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Date painted: 1885, Oil on canvas, 118.5 x 154 cm

Saw this while exploring the Tate St Ives current exhibition Aquatopia. It’s a theme that fits perfectly with the gallery’s location and even its architecture; it has the curves and acoustics of a giant seashell. Artist tip? Don’t spend your pennies in the shop, but allow time instead to relax in the cafe upstairs for the ridiculously beautiful view.

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!” (Eckhart Tolle)

“When I paint, the ocean roars. Others merely paddle in their bath.” (Salvador Dali)