Places and People... Alfred Wallis

I’m a Cornish girl (I know at 31 'girl' is a stretch) as I was saying I'm a Cornish girl now living far, far away from my homeland – although I love my new life and world I now inhabit (both mentally and physically) I still get feelings of nostalgia and pine for my native soil and surroundings – Cornwall.

I’m particularly fond of the small fishing town of St Ives, although not at the height of the hectic tourist season - give me A rain free winters day or an afternoon in late September.

St Ives is renowned for being an artists enclave of many mediums and recognition. Potters and painters alike are inspired by its remoteness and light. I particularly love the work of Alfred Wallis - his story is an inspiration to all budding amateur artists but also tinged with great sadness.

A former fisherman and scrap merchant, in 1890 Alfred moved to St Ives where he set up as a marine scrap merchant (Rag and Bone man). It wasn’t until after the death of his wife in 1922 that Wallis took up painting using anything he had at hand and without any formative training he gained recognition from other renowned artists and critics but despite this he died penniless in Madron workhouse.

Wallis’s paintings rarely portray people and he used very few colours, favorites being dark browns, shiny blacks, greys, whites and a particularly strong Cornish green. Wallis regarded his paintings as expressions of his experiences and arranged the objects depicted in terms of relative importance.

I hope you like his work as much as I do – bits of the above Bio have been taken from the Tate Gallery st Ives website where you can view some of the works of Alfred Wallis.

View from the St Ives Tate Gallery Cafe of Fishing cottages looking out towards the headland and atlantic ocean. Sept 2008.

View from the Tate Gallery overlooking the fishing cottages and Porthmeor Beach. St Ives. Sept 2008.

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1 comment:

  1. ok, now I want to go visit Cornwall, please! looks like a very lovely place...

    happy weekend to you and yours ;)