18 – Pennwydh – Artists Cornwall

Pennwydh or Penwith is the most westerly district of the Cornish Peninsular and includes Lands End, Newlyn, Penzance, St Ives, and St Agnes.  It contains some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscape in the British Isles, aided by the many industrial remains of the Cornish tin mining industry.

Many artists have been attracted to this area with artists colonies and Schools of Art emerging at the end of the 19th century in both Newlyn and St Ives that continue to the present day.  The attraction for painters was and is the quality of the light, the low cost of living, the dramatic land and seascape and the solitude.

The Newlyn School attracted such famous painters as Sir Alfred Munnings, Dame Laura Knights and her husband Harold, Lamorna Birch and Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth who founded th Newlyn School of Painting in 1899, several of whom lived in Lamorna Cove.  The St Ives School  has also attracted a number of well known artists including the sculptress Dame Barbara Hepworth, her husband Ben Nicholson and the Russian Constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo.

The five images below have been made with the West Cornish schools of art in mind.

Lamorna Cove

Lamorna is located just to the South of Mousehole approximately 4 miles from Penzance.    The village is spread out through a small wooded valley leading to the harbour.  There was once a thriving fishing industry here but sadly this has declined over the years.

In recent years Lamorna has been popular with artists and a pottery was established there in 1948

Lamorna is also known for granite.  Granite was hewn here for the construction of the Thames Embankment, a major feat of 19th century civil engineering.  Lamorna stone was also used in the construction of St Buryan Church, completed in 1501.  The tower at 92 ft (28m) in height is a local landmark and used for centuries  as a navigation marker for sailors.

Cottages in Lamorna Cove

This image was made looking inland from the granite strewn shoreline.  The cottages, some of which are available for holiday lets, have a granite backdrop and a fantastic view over the cove and out to sea.

Mousehole Harbour at Low Tide

As with all this selection of images I have tried to introduce a feeling of what the artists see in both colour and light.  To achieve this here I have employed HDR to bring out the colours.

Logan Rock

Logan or rocking rock sits on top of a promatory protecting Pedn Vounder Beach.  The rock is believed to weigh 80 tons and is so finely balanced it is possible  for one man to rock the stone.  The only access to Pedn Vounder Beach is on foot or by boat, either on foot from the village of Treen (about 2/3 mile) or from Porthcurno Beach (about 2/3 mile) at low tide only.

Porth Chapel

Porth Chapel beach is also only accessible on foot, this time from St Levan’s Church near the Minack Threatre, along a clearly marked path, which leads for about half a mile down a fairy steep valley to the Cove.

Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove is on the north coast about one mile from Lands End.  Easy accessibility and long stretches of golden sand makes Sennen a popular location.

St Ives

St Ives, like Newlyn has a strong colony of artists,  This was recognized by the building of Tate St Ives, opened in 1993.

The  Approaching Storm – St Ives Harbour

St Ives Harbour at low tide, with a storm approaching from the North East.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of images, if so please “follow” my blog to receive future editions direct by e-mail to your computer.  I have received a number of requests to purchase prints of my work, so I will be shortly posting how prints can be obtained.


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