Sunday, August 3, 2014

Definition of space

I have been lucky enough to have two wonderful trips to Cornwall this year. The first with my two brothers, one sister-in-law and a cousin; the second with my two best friends. There were many trips down memory lane but also some new experiences - such as the lovely warm welcome from the congregation of the Parish Church in Phillack and the many great art exhibitions. I was struck in particular by the Paule Vezeley collection 'Lines in Space' at the Tate and the 3D work by Peter Hayes at the Porthminster Gallery. I liked just about everything at the Penwith Gallery and the St Ives Society of Artists - and of course at The Leach Pottery, and the Barbara Hepworth garden - but there were so many other wonderful collections.

It is from Vezeley's work that the title of this post comes:

Defining space must be virtually impossible. I think it's the gaps, or chinks, that we think that we see through, but the edges of which actually define our view - both vistas and perceptions. Of course, that is what the abstract artists were trying to show us (I think, since I am not that knowledgeable on this topic!).

The defining nature of these two visits was the friendliness of the folks we met. Despite their home towns being invaded each year, they were unfailingly helpful and cheerful. Thank you to them.

As I walked along Fore Street, or up Tregenna Hill, along Pedn'olva or down Street-an-Pol, I felt that all the versions of myself that have been developed over the forty-one years since I moved away from St Ives could easily melt away if I went back there to live. I don't imagine I ever will do that but it's rather nice to know that an image of me is still there - perhaps in the button fly Levis my brother bought me, worn with bare feet and waist length hair.

The Guildhall looks just the same inside and out, although the stage in the Parish Rooms has gone - site of my greatest acting performance (circa 1970)! The bus rides to Penzance and Mousehole were much as I recall. The International Stores and The Cornish Stone Company (where I had my first Saturday jobs) have gone and the old Post Office is now a general store. But the Library my Dad took me to every Saturday morning is still there - as is the cinema. In fact, it's surprising how little has changed really.

One stone inscription in Mousehole will sit in my memory for a long time: Zu'riel.