Published January 19, 2012
Cornish Artists , Cornish Produce , Stories
Tags: ABNA, Alan Furneaux, Art Cards Cornwall, Artists in Cornwall, Association of British Naive Artists, Blackheath Gallery, Cornish Artists, David Curzon Wimbledon, Godrevy Lighthouse, Market House Gallery, Moving to Cornwall, Naive Artists Cornwall, Penzance, Porthminster beach, St Ives, St Michaels Mount, Thompsons Gallery London, Working in Cornwall
I have been in touch with some artists in Cornwall asking them about their life in Cornwall and how they are inspired by the Cornish landscape.
First up is Alan Furneaux, an artist who has moved to the county of Cornwall from the South of England and although nearly 300 miles from London is making a great success of his career. Here is a little bit of Alan’s Story…
Lorraine and I and the children moved to Cornwall from Brighton 7 yrs ago. I had resisted the move for many years but finally succumbed. Lorraine was a farmers daughter being brought up on the farm at Godrevy. So my first introduction to Cornwall was Godrevy Lighthouse and that stunning vista over to St Ives. I absolutely loved Cornwall but my business as a professional painter supplying the markets in London just made me feel nervous about moving when the art business is so precarious anyway.
We made the move however and now live in Penzance. We have a nice house near the town centre ,swimming pool and beaches so we are in heaven. My studio is in the garage next door and my business has not suffered. In fact I am constantly asked for paintings of Cornwall, and the funny thing is that image of Godrevy Lighthouse is still a current theme in my work.
Tabby Cat, Godrevy
Lorraine works as a CPN and I joined the Association of British Naive Artists. My work is published by many publishers including Marks and Spencers, Unicef and Art Cards Cornwall.
Soon after we moved here and with the children settled at School I became seriously ill with a rare condition called Devics which is similar to MS, I was paralyzed and spent 4 months in hospital learning how to walk. I came out in a wheelchair but now am pretty much ok having had only one serious relapse. I live with the prospect of more relapses so my energy goes in creating the very best paintings I can while I am able. I exhibit in some great Galleries including Thompsons in London, David Curzon in Wimbledon and Blackheath Gallery. I have only one outlet here in Marazion at the Market House Gallery a great little gallery which hosts the very best Cornish Artists so I am very proud to be there.
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
The boys are back
St Michaels mount with palms
Check out more of Alan’s work on his website www.alanfurneaux.com and follow his blog here. Ive been humming the song he wrote for his wife for the past five minutes but I will let you find that for yourself!
ALL IMAGES © ALAN FURNEAUX
Teetotal Street in St Ives is in an alcohol free zone too!
But don’t let stop you visiting St Ives this Christmas, I hear they have some of the best New Year celebrations in the county! Now a popular event and continuing to grow in numbers, with no official programs, brochures or leaflets the New Year celebrations are entirely people driven and really the only criteria is fancy dress, not essential but if you want to fit in you will need some imagination!
If you don’t believe me check out this great little video by Alban Roinard
Like most holiday makers we will generally bring something back from our holiday as a memento of our good time away. Last year when I eventually popped the question to Becky ( see previous post) we had already bought our souvenir a day or two before the big event.
When I called Becky’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage I was staring at the wall of the Truro railway station which had no bearing on our souvenir at the time, it wasn’t until we were browsing in a vintage curious shop in Fowey that we saw this old dusty terracotta pasty in the corner. As I picked it up the lady in the shop said ‘ that’s an old-fashioned souvenir Victorians would buy, made by Lakes of Truro, they used to be by the railway station you know’ ‘Huh’ I thought that could be a nice little memento of our trip to Cornwall this year, so after a little negotiation Cornish Lad Styli we left the shop with the most expensive pasty I have ever bought and probably the worst tasting one. So armed with our relic from the Victorian era we headed off, now all I had to do was ask the question which as you all know I did and the rest is history.
So about the maker of this wonderful little pasty. Lakes Pottery were based in Truro and set up their pottery business in 1872. Pottery businesses have been on the same site dating back to medieval times. Notably they were renowned for their large bowls made for times when households had out-door toilets and kitchen range fireplaces and homemade bread was a necessity to the household. Output of pottery was staggering with production serving the whole Cornish community.
Bernard Leach, the infamous potter of St Ives, drew reference to the work of the Lakes Pottery as the type of work he wished to carry out in new pottery. The pottery had a great influence to the work carried out at Leach’s Pottery and Bernard, his sons, their students and apprentices would visit Lakes on a regular basis to watch production tecniques of pots being thrown and handles being attached.
The pasty has been used as a mascot for the Cornish Rugby team for years and in 1908 Lakes Pottery made 3 terracotta pasties for the first appearance of a Cornish side in a final. Cornwall beat Durham 17-3 in front of 17,000 people in Redruth.
Lakes Pottery sadly closed down in the early 1990s when it was destroyed by fire.
Although I’m sure it’s not worth a trip to the Antiques Roadshow with our pasty I have never seen another one so keep an eye out when browsing antique shops and you may find yourself one too!
stamp on base of pottery reads LAKES CORNISH POTTERY TRURO
Wheal Dream is infact a tin mine near Wendron, Helston but also the name of a small street in St. Ives. If you are looking for a holiday cottage in St Ives, close to the centre and the beaches, search Wheal Dream in St Ives and you who knows you may find your real dream holiday cottage.