Saturday, 27 July 2013

Hayle Beach and Tate St Ives

Summer, and a heatwave has hit the UK.  Taking full advantage I took a short holiday in Hayle, Cornwall, which has a glorious beach.  Five days of listening to the tide come and go, watching the sun set, and leaving only footprints in the sand is a great way to escape from the noise of London and just switch off and reset.  Then, by night, I had Haven's entertainment offerings to provide hours of quizzes, Spice Girl tributes, drinks and silly dancing.  What more could you possibly want?    
Moss, White, Red and Black 1949
(not at the Tate, but an illustrative example)
Where I was staying was a few minutes away from St Ives by train, and I spent a day there looking around. Particularly interesting was the Tate gallery, especially an exhibition of the works of Marlow Moss.

Her works were varied and striking.  She had links to Mondrian (rumours abound that she influenced him with parallel black lines), and several of her abstract canvases of white, with black lines and red, yellow or blue colour squares were on display.  A particular favourite was her Composition in Red, Black and White - (if I could find a print of it I'd buy it, but no such luck).  Having never really paid much real attention to art, Neo-plasticism and Mondrian like works were only really on my radar from a particularly good episode of Hustle, however I am now starting to see the appeal.

But you could see her work evolve.  Later the black lines were replaced with raised solid white blocks, and the colour rectangles were painted in the wells.  Black was replaced with shadow, to create a different set of effects.  And then even later the abstract blocks and colour were gone, replaced by everyday objects (like strings or rope) stuck to a white canvas and painted white to match.  Akin to my paper city from a while ago, the interest was in the change of shade and tone.  Other works more physical works of sculpture also provided distraction, mechanical constructions that look like they were designed to rotate but are in-fact fixed, and granite and gunmetal juxtapositions.

Afterwards the cafe there also did some very nice Smoked Salmon sandwiches, before returning to the beach.