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I have been snapping up cards and prints by Pirrip Press for a couple of years now – everything produced by this small print studio is so perfectly clean-lined and well-spaced, with a classy wit about it. There is a stylish economy to their work that I much covet – just the right amount of white space, never too many colours or words.
The designers in question are Alexandra Higglett and Georgina Hounsome, previously based in Penzance and still maintaining strong ties with the area. Hence their annual limited-edition poster for the Newlyn Fish Festival – a two-colour silkscreen print, this year featuring circling gulls over the harbour wall. I’m not one to romanticise seagulls (if I ever did, then it stopped dead with the theft of my Callestick Farm ice-cream on Porthmeor Beach, summer 2011) but I love this image, printed on thick mushroom-coloured paper.
It’s already a bargain at £10 and they give 20% of the money to the Fishermen’s Mission. Which is why my print has been firmly checked out of their online shop before I click publish on this! They only make 100. You can buy one here.
You can also catch these guys at the Outlaw Craft Fair (tagline: ‘not your usual craft fair’) in Penzance on 14th September.
Exciting news has reached pasties & cream of plans to create a state-of-the-art, two-screen digital cinema and cultural space in Newlyn, in the old Turner’s fish house (pictured above). Up your street? Get thee along to the open day on Thursday to look at the plans & show your support.
With the local elections last week having taken the area’s pulse and found it somewhat faint, this is a well-timed reason to be cheerful. If planning goes smoothly, says owner Suzie Sinclair, it could be up and running by early next year.
My favourite line of the press release is the bit where it promises ‘comfy seats’ and luxurious surrounds. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Savoy Cinema in its own quirky, insufficiently heated way but the seats could never be called comfy.
Open day 2–5pm for general public – all visitors welcome. St Peter’s Church Hall, The Coombe, Newlyn.
Thanks go to my chief Cornish correspondent in the capital and my Cornish-by-conviction friend Chris for alerting me to the fact that Penlee House Gallery‘s walls must be looking a little bare at the moment, thanks to a major retrospective exhibition of Cornish art currently showing at Two Temple Place in London.
What with it being 308 miles away – and by First Great Western’s calculations a £110 journey – I haven’t yet been. But I can see from the reviews that it has some winners from the Newlyn School – paintings that I never get bored of. One of them is ‘A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach’, pictured above, by Stanhope A Forbes, dated 1885. This sort of industrious beachside scene might be a thing of the past but the bearded guy would not look at all out of place nipping into the Swordy for a pint of something murky of a Friday.
I have to admit that for me there is something slightly jarring, or rather confusing, about the title of the exhibition – Amongst Heroes – but this is clearly a fine slice of Cornish art in a wonderful building. Admission is free, and there is an extensive roster of Cornwall-related activities. Gedon.
‘Amongst Heroes: the artist in working Cornwall’
Two Temple Place, 26 January – 14 April 2013
2 Temple Pl London, WC2R 3BD
In partnership with the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. Exhibition Opening Times: Monday, Thursday – Saturday: 10.00 – 16.30. Wednesday Late: 10.00 – 21.00. Sunday: 11.00 – 16.30, Closed on Thursdays
Here’s a pictorial taster for an article I have out in Coast magazine this month (Feb issue) about the excellent new Newlyn School of Art, the brainchild of local artist Henry Garfit.
I attended the Landscape Painting course with local artist Mark Spray back in September and it was a most eye-opening, exhilarating experience. Beginners, have no fear – Mark’s unorthodox style, which includes the use of earth, paintbrushes strapped on to sticks and speed drawing, had even the experienced painters in my group flummoxed. Having not picked up a paintbrush since GCSE art, at least I was expecting it to be hard.
The school occupies a converted granite school at the top of Paul hill (the Board School) in Newlyn, paces away from the original, famed Forbes-led Newlyn School of painters in the late 19th and early 20th century. Other tempting courses include print-making, stone carving and Cornish gardens.
It is no mean feat to open a not-for-profit arts institution (with some Arts Council funding) in grim times such as these, so congrats. With our local arty institutions looking poorly – Acorn open but website looking unwell, Penzance Arts Club closed, Golowan funding cut – it’s brilliant to find something as fresh and new as this.
The Cornish sardines stacked on counters in Newlyn fish shops at the moment are a spectacular bargain: five for £1. Fresh, meaty, good for you, supplies not about to expire. Pan-fried, slice of lemon, sprig of parsley – delicious.
That is all.
Well, it might not be lovely in the strictest sense of the word but it’s as lovely as it’s going to get.
I walked past the poster for the annual Yacht Inn Swim this morning and thought I’d post the details. It takes place this evening – if you’re spectating then be sure to get there for the main race at 7.30pm, as the fastest swimmers reach Battery Rocks in 16 minutes.
If you’re participating, well, what can say? As you become achy of arm and leaden of leg about 100 metres in, take comfort in the fact that ‘wild swimming’ (er, otherwise known as ‘swimming‘) is totally on trend right now.
I took some pics and video last year, click here to take a look.
…make it the Anchor in Newlyn.
Open to the public for the first time this year as part of the Open Studios event, this wildly atmospheric studio in Newlyn was once the workplace of 19th-century Newlyn trailblazer Stanhope Forbes and has, it would seem, changed brilliantly little since. It’s all overgrown outside Read the rest of this entry »
People (myself included) tend to bang on about the colours of Cornwall, don’t they, so there was something interesting and different in her intricate, clay-grey mini Cornwall.
I attended a workshop on Saturday morning with Phoebe, in which Read the rest of this entry »
Like hundreds of thousands of others, judging by the rocketing sales of sustainable fish species this week, I found the points made in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight programme very compelling.
So compelling, in fact, that I didn’t even mind him repeating them a billion times in the space of half an hour (sign of bloody good point)! In the notoriously complicated territory of fish and seafood – where ‘the right thing to do’ is an elusive concept to anyone who isn’t personally monitoring fish stocks – keeping it clear, simple and repetitive seems crucial to the campaign’s success.
So for this cause, I didn’t mind being a cliche and trotting off to sunny Newlyn this morning in search of an ‘alternative’ species of fish for dinner. I came home with a fillet of coley for £2 – an alternative to the over-fished cod to which the Brits are so attached.
(Oh and if you’re looking for Read the rest of this entry »
‘I just love cheese,’ said Helen Venning, the owner of a new cheese shop in Newlyn, to the Cornishman last week. I liked the simplicity of that statement. And, seeing as I just love cheese too, I went down for the opening night on Friday to check out their wares.
Newlyn Cheese – a few doors down from Jelberts – is aiming to have the largest selection of British cheeses in Cornwall, including the phenomenal Rachel from Somerset and all the Cornish crew.
Cornwall has some excellent cheeses – Manallack Farmhouse, yarg, Cornish Blue, Cornish Camembert – but when it comes to stinkiness you Read the rest of this entry »
On Friday, I winched myself out of the house and down to the bench on Wherrytown Beach to spectate at the annual sea swim race from Newlyn to Battery Rocks. The conditions were ideal – one of those calm, blue late summer evenings that make you get all pretentious and emotional about the Cornish light.
Next to me on the bench was a friendly Newlyn octogenarian, who told me about how ‘when he was a lad’ – ie before the advent of ‘health and safety ‘n’ all that’ – the race started with a dive off Newlyn harbour wall. Wetsuit? ‘Naaaw.. wouldn’t have known the meaning of the word’. We are a bit soft these days, aren’t we? Not his 19-year-old granddaughter, though, who last weekend swam from the Brisons (rock a mile off Cape Cornwall, ie in the Atlantic Ocean) to shore. Hard. Core.
As you can see in the vid above (look for the moving dots), the pack spread out quickly, with the top ten looking impressively bullet-like and splash-free. It was an inspiring sight – it even made me harbour some ambitions, possibly fleeting, about entering next year. But the Brisons, never.
Click through for more pics. Read the rest of this entry »
OK, it’s not my car. The shiny new racing-blue Morgan +4 convertible in question belongs to the Morgan Garage in Perranwell.
In fact, worse than that, it’s not even my rental car – it’s my Dad’s. But that didn’t stop me from immersing myself fully in the classic car dream for fifteen minutes as we spun from Penzance, past Newlyn harbour, and over to Mousehole along the coastal road – before he headed further west to Sennen, Zennor and St Ives.
I’m hardly what you could call a car geek but, with the breeze in my hair, blue skies above, Mount’s Bay glistening in the foreground – and the walnut dashboard, cream leather seats and long, shiny bonnet reaching out in front – it was all too much.
Back at my desk, and suddenly intrigued by the concept of owning such a vehicle, I had a quick fantasy google: ‘prices from £29,369 to £34,902’. Ah. Read the rest of this entry »