3.3 The Island, St Ives

St Ives in Cornwall is a location that I have visited frequently for different projects in the course of my OCA degree. In particular for courses at St Ives School of Painting.

St Ives – and Cornwall itself – is a peninsula. One that is in cut off in different ways culturally and economically from the rest of England, Britain and Europe. This was shown very much in the Brexit debate focusing on fishing, but also in the movement for Cornish identity, the Cornish flag.

Planned as animation either collage Stop Motion in the style of Terry Gilliam from digital drawings in Adobe Fresco. The Text below is as submitted with Assignment 3. This still needs a lot of work to produce anything presentable – the current insertion of photos is indicative only of some of the visual inspiration I plan to draw on, as is the variety of styles.

I have a lot more text from old books in St Ives library, and interesting information from interviews with local people as part of my work on Assignment 3 Teetotal Street. I need to rethink and streamline the overall message taking into account the longer term outcomes of the Brexit vote, particularly for the Cornish Fishing industry. And meld together the Shakespeare and Donne ‘patriotic’ poems with real historical fact into a small illustrated book of wider reader interest.

The final version would I think be a rather childlike watercolour like ‘The Little Prince’ by St Exupery, with blind contour rough ink work as in the sketch above, and a disarmingly simple comic text. Done either by hand, or using Adobe Fresco watercolour brushes and Illustrator text.

Pendinas ‘the Island’ is a part of St Ives I really love. It is magical – a ‘sceptred isle set in a silver sea’ when seen at dawn from the Ayre campsite and a towering gloomy place when walking around it wishing ‘no wo/man is an island’ on a cloudy windy day. Its many faces and moods have an obvious hold on the imagination – not just mine. I had sketched around the Island for earlier OCA printmaking and illustration projects.

This text and image project started as an attempt to add some ink illustrations to the text of the tourist information board by the carpark outlining some of the history to the Island.

But in the context of the prevailing discussions around Brexit during my stays in 2019, Pendinas, my ideas on this ‘sceptred/no woman is an island’ evolved into a bringing together of the above together with new images and other historical text on St Ives as a humorous/semi-serious look at ideas of ‘Englishness’ and ‘Islands’ – bearing in mind the firm Cornish identity and calls for devolution in St Ives and the dependence on the EU and London fish markets and international tourism.

In the process I started to read more about the geology and history of St Ives and Cornwall and folk tales of stones and giants of Trencrom Hill above St Ives.

Project 2.2 Finding Texts only asked me to consider thumbnails. I produced a series of experimental watercolour-style drawings in Adobe Sketch and Adobe Draw on my iPad (see feature image above – the only original I could salvage after update to Adobe Fresco). I then brought these into Illustrator and InDesign to create comic-style mockup of 30 pages with comic images and text replacing the original text from the information board. I experimented with different digital styles on my iPad and considered visual approaches of different St Ives artists like Arthur Wallis. Wilhelmina Barnes Graham and the expressive gouaches at the Tate exhibition of Anna Boghiguian.