Thursday, 22 January 2009

West Penwith Galleries

We took a sub-zero break at New Year down at Gurnards Head in West Penwith, in some friends' lovely cottage (or is it in some lovely friends' cottage? both probably). Sarah did some al-fresco painting but really it was too freezing and windy to be still outside for too long. We did thaw out by visiting the galleries and were pleasantly surprised -

St Ives galleries have, for a long while been of mixed quality to say the least, with lots of 'giclee' reproduction prints and formulaic images of identikit Cornish Harbours. However recently there has been a change around in the galleries with some real stars opening up which has perhaps had a good effect on the others too. Penzance too has now got some fantastic galleries reflecting both the depth of talent in that part of the world as well as showing national artists in the very end of England. I'll be writing some up as I get the chance over the next few days - and might, if we get the chance to go down again in the spring do a completely subjective and biased 'MADE Art and Design Guide to West Penwith'.
Was a bit pissed off with the Tate as they had shut the cafe - and best view of St Ives - for renovations whilst we were there! The Heimo Zobernig exhibition at the Tate wasn't exactly thrilling, (keycolour curtains and semi-painted plinths - "Challenging perceptions" yada yada.) I'm sure the cafe will be open again soon and there are some interesting exhibitions coming up there this year including Ben Nicholson, Bernard Leach and "Contemporary Fine and Applied Arts: 1928–2009"

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