Tate St Ives Re-Opens

Featured image:  Patrick Heron (1920 – 1999) ,Window for Tate Gallery St Ives 1992 – 1993,  Design donated by the Artist, Fabrication by W. Derix Studio, Made possible by a donation from the Friends of the Tate Gallery.

It feels like it’s been closed for a long time, and we’ve all missed it; however the wait is nearly over, and Tate St Ives is due to reopen later this month.

Tate St Ives, situated in an unsurpassed location above Porthmeor Beach,  closed for a major refurbishment in October 2015. The transformed Tate will open fully in the autumn of 2017, with double its previous exhibition space. In the meantime, a section of the gallery will reopen on 31 March for The Studio and the Sea, a series of two exhibitions about “the ceramics studio, the ocean, and the landscape”.  British artist Jessica Warboys will have an exhibition of her large-scale paintings in the sea-facing galleries.

What can we expect from the refurbished Tate St Ives? From the autumn relaunch, the original galleries will have a permanent exhibition which takes the visitor through the history of modern art in St Ives. The new gallery space will have a programme of temporary exhibitions by a series of British artists.

The Tate may be the town’s most famous gallery; however there are many other amazing places to find your St Ives art fix. One of these is the Tate’s sister gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

© Tate. Photo: Ian Kingsnorth

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth moved to St Ives at the start of the Second World War, with her husband Ben Nicholson and their young children. They made their home and studio in beautiful Trewyn Studios, which is now the museum. Hepworth designed the garden herself, and many of the sculptures you can explore today are still displayed where she placed them.

If you like this combination of art and the great outdoors, pop across the peninsula to the stunning Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens just outside Penzance. The sheltered valley has been planted with dramatic sub-tropical foliage, which shares the wooded gardens with exciting art installations. Both Tremenheere and the Hepworth are  great ways to introduce art to younger visitors.

While you’re near Penzance, there are a few other galleries that are definitely worth exploring. Penlee House Gallery and Museum has a wonderful collection of art from the Newlyn School of Painters. For more contemporary art, visit the sister galleries of the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange.

Further up the line, but definitely worth the trip if you want to find out more about Cornish art, is the fascinating and varied Falmouth Art Gallery. This lively town has a long association with the arts, and boasts a university which produces some of the county’s best creative talents. Again, it’s a very family friendly gallery to visit, and has a good programme of events aimed at children.

Of course, you don’t have to visit a major gallery to enjoy art in St Ives. There are so many independent galleries in town, of all shapes and sizes. Simply wonder around the meandering little streets, calling into the galleries that take your fancy. One of the largest of the independent galleries is the Porthminster Gallery at Westcott’s Quay, or try The New Craftsman Gallery on Fore Street.  If you’re inspired to try your own hand at being creative when you’re in St Ives, just down the road from The Garrack is the excellent Barnoon Workshop, which runs bookable sessions on all manner of arty activities.

The Atrium of Tate St Ives, looking towards Porthmeor Beach
The Atrium at the Tate. Photo: Tony Atkin via Wikimedia Commons

This Easter and summer, you can get a tantalising glimpse of what the new Tate has in store, and it’s not long now until the full renovation is revealed.

If you’re planning a trip to St Ives to visit the reopened gallery, the Tate is just a short walk down the hill from The Garrack.

Contact us to book your art-filled break in St Ives.