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March 3, 2012

Flying Visit to St.Ives

by gordonmichaelsutton

A year or two ago I’d had an enquiry from a potential client in Redruth in Cornwall. Even now that’s a long trip by train or car from Liverpool, so I opted to fly down. There’s a great route that BMI operate from Manchester to Newquay with a flying time of just 45 minutes. One minute the industrial connurbation that is Manchester, the next you’re dropping down over glorious Cornish countryside with the Atlantic Ocean for company. Business meeting over I took the opportunity to head down to St.Ives.

With only my iPhone camera for company here are some of the shots I managed to get. This one is looking out from the harbour as a few yachts made the most of a balmy June evening’s sailing. The harbour was mostly drained that night as the tide was out, and fishing boats were effectively beached.

Happy memories of family holidays here in the late 1970s did, however, flood back. My grandmother had had family in St.Ives – in fact, that was the name of the family home where she grew up on the Wirral. Her father’s family had lived in St Mewan over near St.Austell, but the roots were scattered all around this part of Cornwall, including Redruth too as it happened. An abiding memory was of my grandmother nearly taking a dive off the harbour wall as she got a foot caught in a mooring. The harbour was full of water that day and I’m not sure how brave I’d have been if truth be told. She merely saw the funny side of things and carried on eating an ice cream – Cornish ice cream, of course!

The sun was setting now and casting a soft light all around. I really liked the shapes made by the buoys and ropes as they lay stranded.

St Ives isn’t just about it’s glorious location and harbour. These days it’s also home to Tate St Ives. This small Cornish fishing port had in fact been the home of the St.Ives school of artists that included Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis (a personal favourite), and Patrick Heron to name a few. All highly influential in the story of modern art. This large piece by Patrick Heron hangs in the entrance to the gallery. I love the colours and the shapes that seem to capture the life of St. Ives in a very original way.

A final dramatic image presented itself to me in hills just above St Ives as I made my way back to the guest house. Cornwall is about fishing but it’s history was all about tin mining too. Here was one of the now defunct mines standing proud in the unique light of a Kernow evening.

Kernow? It’s Cornish for Cornwall. Must go back soon.


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