Malvern St James Girls’ School Residential Art Trip to Cornwall

Malvern St James Girls’ School Residential Art Trip to Cornwall

1 July 2022

On Thursday 9 June, while en route, pupils and staff stopped off at St Michael’s Mount, a historic castle off the coast of Marazion. While here, girls quickly sketched fantastic quick drawings of this ancient island through the wet, mist and drizzle.

After this pit stop, it was back on the bus for another short drive to the accommodation at Penzance YH. The girls loved it here describing it as ‘really great, almost like a hotel!’

Following a quick supper, pupils and staff attended an evening performance of Jane Eyre at the amazing Minack Theatre, an outdoor theatre carved out of the rocks, overlooking the sea. Pupils were captivated by the performance and the location, with all producing some great and inspiring drawings.

Friday 10 June saw pupils and staff up bright and early as they headed off to Mousehole and St Michaels Mount for some fabulous drawing opportunities. Mousehole is a village and fishing port in Cornwall, most known for its variety of vibrant festivals and community spirit.

The girls relished the opportunity of selecting their own locations and exploring the quaint galleries and shops around the harbour. The brief boat journey to the Mount created quite a stir!

Pupils also visited the home of Mike and Suzie Chaikin, who gave the girls a fascinating insight into their work, their influences, and where their work ended up. Suzie Chaikin spent 20 years travelling and living in Central America where her love of textiles, colour and pattern was first captured. Here, she was taught how to weave on the hilltop village of Tikal, Guatemala by the local women. Suzie cited Frida Kahlo and Mexico as two of her many inspirations. Mike Chaikin is a recognised sculptor and has exhibited in London, Brighton, Hamburg, Paris and Dubai.

To end the day, pupils went on to explore the nearby ‘Merry Maidens’ standing stone, an ancient site dated between late stone age and early bronze age.

On Saturday, pupils went on an exciting visit to the hugely atmospheric, Botallack Mines, which now lie in ruins perched upon the cliff tops. Staff commented that the ‘rather wild and tempestuous sea gave a real Poldark feel to the place.’

The Botallack Mines closed in 1895 due to the decline in copper and tin prices. The site is now a peaceful and tranquil place for visitors to explore.

The girls then paid a visit to St Just, the most westerly town in the UK, to visit the Makers Emporium. The Emporium showcases a collection of work from local artists and designers.

A visit to the prestigious Kurt Jackson Gallery was also on the itinerary for the day. Works from the renowned painter, Kurt Jackson are on display, ranging from his collection with Glastonbury Festival to his environmental pieces.

The group lunched on the bus as they set off for St Ives to visit the newly extended Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Garden. The girls described it as ‘a real haven of peace and quiet with a fascinating story.’

They were amazed to see Barbara Hepworth’s workshop exactly as she had left it when she died.

Sunday 12 June dawned quickly and pupils said goodbye to Penzance to head off to the Eden Project. Three enormous biomes, housing spectacular plant forms, both tropical and Mediterranean, gave ample opportunity for drawing and photography.

The group spent a few hours here before heading up the M5 for the long journey home. The exhausted girls were not too tired to tell the staff ‘it was the best trip ever!’

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