A very long circular walk in autumn. Including a great number of beautiful leaves, Boaty MacBoatface being built, finding out the price of a pair of jeans and an update on progress at The Welsh Streets. Good value I’d say. When I set off walking on this day, the last Sunday in October 2016, I didn’t know exactly where I was going. But I knew it would be a long and autumnal walk.
Before we left Cornwall last weekend there was one last person and place we wanted to visit, Barbara Hepworth in her studio.
She lived the second half of her life here in Cornwall.
And to give you a sense of her and her place, this will matter later, here is how it describes itself:
“The Cornwall studio where Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) found space to work, and explored bronze for the first time.
Barbara Hepworth married Ben Nicholson in 1938, and when the war came they evacuated with their young family to Cornwall. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is based in the studio Hepworth established in 1949, in search of more space to work on her sculptures. After the war, and her divorce from Nicholson in 1951, Hepworth became an active figure in the developing St Ives modernist art community, and she was awarded the Freedom of St Ives in 1968 to acknowledge her contribution to the town. Trewyn Studio remained her studio until her death in 1975. Here she explored the potential of bronze for the first time, as well as continuing her work with stone and wood carving. ‘Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic,’ Hepworth wrote, ‘Here was a studio, a yard and a garden where I could work in open air and space.’
The studio was established as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden the year after Hepworth’s death in 1975, and has been managed by Tate since 1980. Today, visitors to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden can see some of Hepworth’s most monumental sculptures in the environment for which they were created.”
Commenting on the first of this week’s Cornwall blog posts, our friend Cathy Alderson had this to say:
“My family are all living down there and our treat is to walk from St Uny church to St Ives, stopping at the Carbis Bay hotel for coffee en route. It’s got us through some horrendous times and should be on the NHS!”
Well, what else could we do in response to such a recommendation but go on Cathy’s walk while we’re still down here.
This morning the sun has returned to St Ives after a couple of grey days.
And we’re off on the 17A to Lelant, to do the walk back to St Ives in the same direction as Cathy and her family would do it.
When I was young and really did send postcards home I’d usually select ones with lots of pictures on them. Reasoning them to be somehow ‘better value.’ So here we go, a second good value multi-image Postcard From Cornwall.
Truth to tell, these last two days haven’t matched the sunny brilliance of Sunday and Monday on the last postcard. But it hasn’t rained.
And Sarah got out for her surfing lesson yesterday.
And liked the quality tuition from Joe at St Ives Surf School.
Two hours on the beach and in the water.
And she’s glad she’s had a go.
“But it’s never going to replace sea kayaking for me, let’s face it.”
Mostly though we’ve had a quieter time walking, resting, reading. And wondering, why is it so quiet here? Continue reading →
If you know me you’ll probably know that Sarah and I are on holiday in Cornwall this week. If you’re expecting a postcard well don’t. I won’t be sending any as I’ve got too much reading and walking to do to be bothered with all that. But here’s one anyway, via the blog.
We arrived on Sunday evening.
I’d forgotten how beautiful St Ives is.
A place that is sacred to the two of us.
When Sarah got her life-threatening cancer diagnosis, nearly ten years ago now, we adopted St Ives as our safe place to come before and in between major treatments and results. So that rather than sit and worry at home in Liverpool, we’d come here and walk the beaches and the hills together. Embracing what we had of life, however long or short that might turn out to be.
It has so far turned out to be long. So here we are back in St Ives for the first time in eight years. Continue reading →
This late into the autumn of my life I should not have to be writing and working on the human right to a decent home. But I am. Or the responsibility of the organisations of the state not to be the enemies of our own people, but they are.