Arts & Culture
Artists have been coming to St Ives since the early 1800s. Turner arrived in St Ives in 1811 on a mission to capture the essence of our beautiful and rugged South West. Turner managed to capture the unique pink light that St Ives is blessed with. His masterpieces became the inspiration for thousands to make the same pilgrimage in search of that same pink light and that he would be the catalyst in creating the vibrant and influential art colony of St Ives. Check out below a small sample of points of interest that we think are definite places to visit whilst staying in St Ives.
Porthmeor beach, TR26 1TG
Tate Gallery originally opened in June 1993, the shape of the building echoes the former gas works. As the gallery was averaging 240,000 visitors per year, it was granted to extend the exhibition space in 2013. After a period of being closed, Tate St Ives reopened on 14th October 2017 after a £20 million extension and refurbishment.
For the first time with your admission to Tate St Ives, you can explore the history of modern art in St Ives. Tate has given key artists a permanent presence in the town where they lived and worked. This new display will follow those artists across the 20th century, revealing their relationships to international art histories. From the unique perspective of St Ives, visitors will be able to bridge geographical and chronological boundaries and discover new connections through familiar artists.
The current exhibition is 'Patrick Heron.' This exhibition will stretch from Heron’s early work in the 1940s to his death at the very end of the 20th century, showing the full evolution of his vibrant abstract paintings. This will be displayed until 30th September.
The forthcoming exhibition is 'Nashashibi / Skaer' starting from 20th October until 6th January. This exhibition will include an exploration of the mythology surrounding Gauguin and his time in French Polynesia. Visions of the tropics by Gauguin will be shown alongside his predecessors, such as William Hodges and Edward Gennys Fanshawe who accompanied Captain Cook to the South Pacific, as well as Nashashibi/Skaer’s new film. Together these works will address the way art has represented the exoticised woman and colonised lands.
Making use of the gallery’s new building, the show will include a number of large-scale paintings offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore this modern master’s sense of scale, colour and composition.
Barbara Hepworth Museum
Barnoon Hill, St Ives
Gallery set in the studio and gardens of the late Dame Barbara Hepworth- internationally renowned sculptor known for her brave, often monolithic carvings and bronze works inspired by the landscape around St Ives.
Examples of her work can also be admired whilst wondering around the town- look out for them at The Malakoff (bus station), The Guildhall, Trewyn Gardens etc.
St Ives Arts Club
The atmospheric Arts Club was established in 1890 as a members' club and as such continues to offer a host of entertainment, music and exhibitions in the original harbourside venue.
Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, the Leach Pottery was restored in 2008 to continue their legacy and is among the most respected and influential studio potteries in the world.
Over the last hundred years, it has forged the shape of studio pottery production in the UK and beyond. Scores of potters, students and apprentices from across the world have come to the Leach Pottery to train, creating a unique international environment in the heart of Cornwall and maintaining the pottery's creative principle of East/West exchange.
The Plumbline Gallery
2 Barnoon Hill
"Only have in your home what is useful or what you believe to be beautiful"
St Ives Museum
Situated in the old fishing quarter of St Ives and overlooking St Ives Bay is St Ives' best-kept secret. A plethora of artefacts and photographs relating to St Ives' history of fishing, smuggling and mining.
St Ives School of Painting
Back Road West
Established in 1938 and set in the historic Porthmeor Studios which form part of the seawall on Porthmeor beach with fish cellars below, the school is currently undergoing major refurbishment to bring it back to its former glory. Quality teaching in an inspiring location continues.