24 October 2008

go west

Having made a very early start and followed Diana's directions to the letter, we arrived in Cornwall much earlier than expected. So we made a detour to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St. Ives.

Hepworth moved to Cornwall with her husband Ben Nicholson and their children in 1939. I've had mixed feelings about Hepworth's work in the past, but seeing the studio where she worked and her sculptures in situ was a revelation.

G, having studied stone carving himself, was particularly enthralled by the plethora of tools on display both in her workshop and in the museum downstairs.

The pieces in various stages of completion were intriguing:

And the bronzes in the garden were amazing, each perfectly suited to its unique place in the landscape:

Our second stop, recommended by Diana, was the Yew Tree Gallery near Morvah on the west coast:

The current exhibition 'Full Fathom Five' is stunning. Although the pieces are in many different media, they hang together beautifully, united by a coastal color palette of grays, blues, and greens.

My favorite paintings were by Fiona Millais, who is indeed the great granddaughter of John Everett Millais:

Fiona Millais, Fragments of Coast, 36 x 71 cm

We also met the gallery owner Gilly, who is lovely. When we arrived, she was installing a gorgeous gypsy caravan (which we'd actually passed on the road many miles back!) in the garden opposite the gallery. I wonder if she'd let me come stay?


  1. It's so lovely seeing 'my' local places through the eyes of someone else...it gives them a fresh perspective for me. I hope you're going to blog about Fat Hen and foraging, your take will be different from mine! Or perhaps G would like to write a guest post?!
    D x

  2. It looks beautiful. We found a tiny sculpture studio by chance on holiday in Devon this year - I love just 'happening' upon lovely places!

  3. You could fit what I know about sculpture on a postage stamp but I adore the light fixture in the sixth photo! What a lovely studio.

  4. The journey from London is made worthwhile by visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Yew Tree Gallery. I look forward to going again ... perhaps next time there will be something interesting to see at the Tate St Ives.