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28 October 2014

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Made In England

You are in: Cornwall > Made In England > Made in England: Cornwall

Made in England: Cornwall

It's believed that Cornwall has the largest concentration of artists in England outside the capital...

Cornwall and in particular St Ives has long been associated with art. Activity initially came from the Newlyn art colony from around 1880 onwards. Artists flocked to the area, creating a community where they lived and worked, painting the landscape - the boats, harbours, beaches and people, all in the exquisite Cornish light.

From the 1940s, a particular type of artist became associated with the region, or more specifically St Ives. These artists and sculptors were interested in abstractism and in turn modernism. Modernist writers D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf both spent time in Cornwall between the two world wars.

The son of a local photographer and musician, Peter Lanyon was one of the leading figures in the St Ives group of artists. Famous for his heavily abstracted landscapes, he combined traditional English landscapes with a bolder, American-influenced style of painting.

Alfred Wallis was a Cornish fisherman-turned-painter. Alfred came late to art, starting when he was in his 60s, painting seascapes from memory. In his paintings, perspective is ignored and object’s scale is often based on what he felt its importance to be. Although he spent his life in poverty, he is now celebrated as a great local artist.

Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives opened in 1993

Outside of London, it is believed that Cornwall has the largest concentration of artists. In 1993 Tate St Ives opened and many saw this as confirmation of the towns status as a major cultural centre.

Made in England

Made in England is a joint partnership between BBC English Regions and Arts Council England to bring audiences and artists together in unique collaborations to provide exciting new cultural experiences.

It is a project dedicated to exploring how England – the place and the people - is expressed through creative and artistic forms.

Think about the Lake District - dramatic and elegant, the lush greens and icy blues depicting an unspoilt England. William Wordsworth was so inspired by the landscape he wrote poems, sonnets and ballads dedicated to it.

Non-traditional art is just as important to recognise - graffiti on the streets, estates built in the Sixties, and even regional accents. Does this architecture, history and culture inspire you to think of all things English?

If you're bursting with enthusiasm at the thought of creating something - why don't you see how you can get involved? Visit the main Made in England site to find out how you can get your creative juices flowing.


In a specially commissioned piece for Made in England -Helen Dunmore writes poignantly about Porthmeor beach in Cornwall in a haunting tale about storms, the sea and watery graves.

last updated: 23/04/2008 at 12:03
created: 08/04/2008

You are in: Cornwall > Made In England > Made in England: Cornwall

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