January 22, 2019

Tate St Ives - Modern Art, Beautiful Views & Family Friendly Fun

The Tate St Ives sits overlooking Porthmeor Beach in the old gas works building. It has lots of modern art, holds exhibitions, talks and events. In the school holidays there are art sessions for the children which are brilliant. They also have a lovely cafe and shop.

My Experience Of The Tate St Ives

I will be honest with you, I'm not a modern art fan. Lots of it I simply don't get. So when I first visited the Tate St Ives I didn't like it.

However, after many repeated visits over the last 8 years it is growing on me!

The Things I Love About The Tate St Ives

  • Works by local artists. This I get. Okay, some of them are quite abstract, but when you put them into the context of the scenery and life around St Ives, they start to resonate with me. I love the Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Barbara Hepworth, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Patrick Heron works. Also Terry Frost, Bernard Leach and Peter Lanyon.
  • Works by very famous artists. There are impressive works by Matisse, Mondrian, Henry Moore and Picasso.
  • Interactive art exhibits. I love the art works where you can get involved. There has been several - ones where you could take a ribbon with a message on and another where you could write messages. These draw people in and make them happy!
  • Art work created by local children. I'm a bit biased as my child has contributed to several pieces that have been displayed here. It is wonderfully encouraging for them though and the Tate St Ives do get this just right.
  • Toddler Tate. These brilliantly creative sessions for young children are lovely to attend.
  • Family Friendly Art Days. We have taken our 7 year old and her friends to lots of these during the school holidays. Our favourites are the ones on the beach where they get to create works of art in the sand or in the water.
  • The concerts with local school children. The Children In Need choir was amazing and I love it when the Samba Band plays in the entrance.
  • The view. The view from the main big gallery is breathtaking. It surpasses all of the art works on show there.
  • The shop and cafe. These are lovely, lots of art inspired things to buy (great for birthday presents) and a very good cafe with a superb view.
  • The locals pass. This is utterly brilliant and has meant that I can pop in for a look frequently - which seems to be developing my love of modern art!

The Things I Don't Love About The Tate St Ives

  • It's really expensive for one off visitors. Although most people do realise it is a modern art gallery, I think lots of people think it isn't going to the THAT modern. If you don't like modern art it can see a waste of money.
  • Some of the very modern art, such as a partially built table, some metal girders and bits like that, I just do not get. They seem so emperor's new clothes they make my teeth itch! However, my daughter (age 7) loves some of these things. She is starting to make me see them in a new light.

I hope this helps you work out whether the Tate St Ives is worth a visit or not. I'd say, go with an open mind, a bit of information about some of the St Ives artists on display and an idea that not all of the art works will be for you.

Click here to visit the Tate St Ives website >>



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