Daily Archives: October 14, 2017

Picasso, a birthday and fireworks


Saturday 14th October


This morning we headed off​ to the reopening of the Tate Gallery; it’s only a short walk, down the hill from where we live. We have watched the expansion project taking place over the last eighteen months as piles of earth, granite and blue Elvan have been removed to create a new gallery space buried in the cliff side. Costing £20 million, it will showcase many local artists who were drawn to St. Ives by the incredible quality of the light. 

We walked past beautiful sculptures created by Barbara Hepworth, huge canvasses by Peter Lanyon, Sir Terry Frost, Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson, Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Mark Rothko and Patrick Heron. There was quite a crowd in front of the Picasso: “Bowl of fruit, violin and bottle”, and a group of students sitting on a bench attempting to sketch what they saw. There were other interesting, small sculptures by John Wells and Dennis Mitchell.

Rebecca Warren’s tall bronze sculptures were housed in the new, massive gallery, bathed in natural light, streaming through the ceiling. These were drilled and securely screwed in to the floor; the installation was named “All that heaven allows”. Personally, I would have preferred to see giant canvasses on the huge white walls ~ actual paintings! But there we are, each to their own.

Crowds of people were meandering, pondering, gazing upon the art, moving through the galleries in a slow shuffle, trying to take it all in. So much on offer: perhaps it will be better to return on a quieter day, when all the opening excitement has dissipated and I can stand in front of the Picasso, or the Mondrian and appreciate them fully.

Even the café on the top floor seemed to be permanently full, but not surprising, considering the spectacular views of the beach below, with great waves and many surfers enjoying the swell.

Today was also your Dad’s birthday: think you would have wished him many happy returns and bought a card for him. You would probably have laughed, said he was too old and then pulled his hair jokingly! I’m not sure if you would have accompanied us to the Tate or not ~ probably too many people for your liking.

When we were standing beside you this afternoon, Dad said the best birthday present he could have, was to have you back. We miss you so unbelievably much.

Late afternoon and the sun came out, bathing the harbour in that special light. Many tourists were strolling around, sitting on the benches overlooking the sand or enjoying outdoor drinks and food at the many cafés and bars.

To finish off the day, a wonderful fireworks display was put on for Dad’s birthday ~ well, not really, they were celebrating the opening of the Tate, but as they lit up the sky, right in front of our house, we pretended they were for Dad. You never know…….

We wish you had been with us.

We love you so much.

Darling Angel son.


Palm tree light box in the foyer

The Picasso

Alfred Wallis

The new exhibition space

Curved viewing balcony

Interesting forms

Spectacular view of the beach through the windows

A little snack this evening ~ cheese board and a seafood board ~ overlooking the harbour

Late evening sun

Fabulous blue sky to end the day

And then the fireworks….