Places affect the way you feel. Pretty obvious really but also strange too. Why should your surroundings have such profound effects on your state of mind? You can divide your feelings about a place into three categories past, present and future. It actually starts with future. Your anticipation of how you are going to feel when you get there. This can range from excitement through ambivalence to trepidation but you will always feel something about the place you are going to (even if its neither positive or negative). So why? I ♥ ST IVES …I love the thought of going, I love being there and I love the memories of being there. All three tenses covered off. But why are we hard wired to react to places. Deep down we are programmed to seek out beauty (whatever that is?) but why? Is there an evolutionary reason why I’m happier on a sunny stretch of sand than stuck in stationary traffic queues on rainy days in grey towns?
Today the sun came out and the warmth fought its way through the gentle Northerly breeze. We spread out the picnic blanket in the lee of the cliff and faced South absorbing the rays and watching people come and go from the golden expanse of Porthmeor Beach. Tom and Katie dug a hole and fetched buckets of water from a rock pool. Claire and I sat and enjoyed just being there. The place. It’s hard to define why it’s so enjoyable just being there but there must be something in it as people work for a whole year to buy time here. It’s big business too. St. Ives is a well oiled machine these days. Everything is just so, they’ve got parting you with your hard earned cash down to a fine art! …and Fine Art is the cash cow here! The Tate gallery has just had a whopping great extension which is causing them to have to think hard about what to put in it.
Today’s exhibition some might say is a little bit contrived but hell it ticks a lot of boxes! I bumped into some clients on the way in and I enthusiastically waved my ticket and muttered something about going in to have a look. The retort came back “You might learn something!” WOW! Fair point but say what you really think… As these words turned over inside my mind I stepped into the Virginia Woolf inspired exhibition which oozes feminist education and displays all kinds of work by artists connected with the author. Of course Vanessa Bell her sister is in the house along with painters I love such as Dame Laura Knight, Dod Proctor and Gwen John.
I loved the exhibition. I love looking and seeing and trying to understand. I’m not a patient gallery goer though. I know if I’m interested in work and tend to categorise in my head quite rapidly. I saw paintings that made me think and actually (I think) I did learn something.
After The Tate I met up again with Claire and the kids who’d been to the shops and we went to Porthmeor Beach Cafe which is super cool and another place that makes just being there one of life’s great pleasures. We didn’t eat. We were served two hot chocolates, a glass of Sauvignon and a latte by chilled staff in skinny jeans, skate shoes and aprons. Great drinks in a lovely place brought to us by fab people. Next time we’ll go for tapas!