|Cornwall again, day 4
||[Thursday 2nd February 2012 at 8:47 pm]
Since everyone was recommending it, today I went to St. Ives. Apparently this is the right time of year to do so, because it's the only time when it's not full of tourists. Seriously, it seemed like every other house was either an art gallery or a holiday cottage. Does anyone actually live in St Ives?
The place also has the most aggressive seagulls I've ever come across. There I was, happily eating my lunch, when one of them launched a sneak attack from somewhere behind me and tore a chunk out of my pasty. Cheeky blighters. I've never had a seagull actually go after my lunch before - the Brighton ones will eye you up but generally know better than to actually try anything, while the Fareham ones aren't big enough to be a problem. In any case, I much prefer the incredibly friendly robins that Cornwall seems to be full of this week. While at Trebah one even perched next to me and quietly sang, giving me my own private concert!
Anyway, St Ives. While the place is full of art galleries, the one that stands out is the Tate at St Ives. I'm not particularly into art (especially the pretentious stuff that normally ends up in any placed called "Tate"), but it's highly recommended so I thought I'd give it a try. It's... strange, to say the least. The current exhibition is by and about Simon Fujiwara, which is a name that meant absolutely nothing to me. It appears to be sort of an autobiographical series of rooms, and is more than a little disturbing to begin with. The later rooms are more light-hearted - gallery 2 has a series of very carefully placed intact and broken pots, with a video clip revealing that the pots were broken as part of some father/son bonding thing. Gallery 1 (they decided to have you go round the galleries from 5 to 1 - this is the Tate, so it'll make perfect sense in someone's world) was my favourite, and contained a series of letters that Simon had written while in Mexico. Or rather, had dictated in English to non-English-speakers. He does then go and spoil it at the end by revealing that he can speak Spanish, but it was amusing while it lasted.
The Tate also has a multimedia tour of the town - you can borrow an iPod, which will take you on a wander around the place from the perspective of the artist Ben Nicholson who spent several years living in St Ives. It's actually a rather good tour, and makes for a pleasant walk around. It only covers the town centre, so after the tour I then wandered up to the small chapel on top of the hill. From there, you do get an absolutely stunning view both back inland and out over the sea. I can quite see why St Ives would be attractive to anyone interested in coastal art/photography.