I think this will be my last post about my 4 days in Cornwall – I came back so rested, so full of experiences and ideas that I wanted to document and share it…
Although I went to Cornwall with a list of things I wished to see and do, it was the unplanned surprises and serendipitous moments that brought most joy. I found that people struck up conversations with me (obviously curious about why I was holidaying alone!) which would not have happened if I’d been with John or others. This resulted in many interesting and unexpected conversations with strangers.
In a cafe in St Just, I got talking to an ordinary-looking elderly man who turned out to be local contemporary painter, sculptor and ceramicist, Ken Spooner. He told me of his upcoming exhibition at Cornwall Contemporary, Penzance and we looked at the gallery website together. Not all of his work appealed to me but I loved the fact that he made whatever he felt inspired to create – like Picasso! Having learned building and plastering from working with his father, it was the materials which directed his work. Over coffee, we discussed the Artist’s need for authenticity, staying true to oneself and how hard it is to work to commission (Ken doesn’t!) When I told him about my desire to move my work forward, he suggested throwing everything on the floor and seeing what comes from it. (Little did he know that my room looks like that every day!!)
When I told Ken about my garden mosaic idea, he told me about The Makers Emporium in St Just (I’d not heard of it.) What a wonderful place – a collective of about 20 local artists producing quality work, including Sue Dove whose embroidery I’ve admired for many years. When I visited the collective, the mosaic artist, Susie Chaikin happened to be on the desk that day. We chatted and she recommended me the best make of mosaic cutting tool.
I also visited Newlyn (Contemporary) Art Gallery (not on my list) and saw the current group exhibition entitled Europe After the Rain, depictions of a dystopian future. I was stunned by a piece by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay: the sound of an air-raid siren from a war-time loud speaker revealed itself to be the voice of a boy soprano from the Vienna Boys Choir (explained as perhaps a plaintive call from the future.) The perfect pitch of the note and the boy’s breath control was stunning. Different and unexpected. Such moments inspire me and bring me to life!