Glad to be able to meet up with Sketchmob folk again – invariably some familiar faces and a good number of new. Soho is well gentrified, expensive, alive, vibrant and kicking from late afternoon and was going strong when we left at 9. Once again a variety of work, styles and subjects – see gallery on their web site – link in ‘Links’. I sat in Pret a Manger and worked on this……
The John Snow Pub takes its name from Doctor John Snow whose famous “dot map” of 1854 plotted the deaths of scores of Soho cholera victims, tracing their activities to the stand pipe that gave them their drinking water. Snow famously snapped the handle off the stand pipe, and when the deaths stopped abruptly he proved that cholera was spread in water, and not as previously assumed, by miasma in the air.
Before we went a friend and artist emailed to say:
When I was there last summer, I was a little disappointed that most of the commercial galleries were selling beach scenes, boats and seagulls...
So I visited a few with caution. True many are for the commercial tourist and at times the area close to the harbour felt like Southend-on-Cornwall. But even amongst that I found the work of Neil Pinkett really interesting - figurative but expressive – in the New Craftsman Gallery. Round the west side, Porthmeor Beach and away from the town centre, near to Tate St Ives there are many working artists’ studios, not all to my taste and some clearly ‘for the market’ but all or at least mostly good art. Most interesting was the working potter near the Tate and the Penwith Gallery. Founded in 1949 by Dame Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson amongst others it is run by and funded solely by its artist membership. A former pilchard packing factory it is a remarkable complex of buildings, recently re-furbished with three public galleries. It is big. The work really worth a careful look.
Over the other side towards Porthminster beach is the Porthminster Gallery on Westcott’s Quay. Very much the best we visited with a varied and mixed range of fabulous work. Well worth calling in.
Unsurprisingly dotted about the place I bumped into other artists sketching. We had decided – with the exception of a train trip to Penzance; change at St Erth – to stay in St Ives so I was free to be a bit productive. Thus my 10 ‘works’ all are from it (except for St Erth here in the Blog) and rather than clog the blog I have put them on a separate page on this web.
Sketching thoughts and stories from John Webb.