The history of St Ives is inextricably linked to art. Artists have been coming to the town and settling here for hundreds of years, drawn by the extraordinary atlantic light and the stunning beauty of the landscapes and seascapes.
St Ives’ most famous artists nearly all come from the post-war and modern period.
In the decades which followed the Second World War, St Ives developed an international reputation as an important centre for modern art, especially abstract art.
With artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham, Naub Gabo, Bernard Leach or even John Wells, St Ives became synonymous with a new approach to art and was seen as standing alongside New York and Paris as a centre for modern art.
This in turn attracted many more artists, such as Sandra Blow, Alexander Mackenzie, Paul Feiler, Trevor Bell, Denis Mitchell, Tony O’Malley, Bryan Pearce and Bryan Wynter and St Ives has remained a haven for artists with many still living and working in the town today.
Throughout this period, some of Britain’s leading artists lived and worked in St Ives. Many of them had studios on Porthmeor Beach just a two minutes stroll from Sail Lofts-St Ives. So in the last 50 years or so, many of the art works you see in our apartments have travelled just a few meters down the road - from Porthmeor Studios to Sail Lofts-St Ives.
Today, St Ives boasts Tate St Ives, The Hepworth museum and the Leach Pottery as well as over 30 art galleries.
Sail Lofts -St Ives are proud sponsors of Tate St Ives but you can also see wonderful artworks on the walls throughout our 12 apartments. We hope you enjoy the art on display at Sail Lofts-St Ives.
This unique art collection has been assembled over 40 years by the family who own Sail Lofts-St Ives and live in the town. Their late aunt, Shearer Armstrong, was a founding member of the St Ives movement and one of those who encouraged her friends Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson to leave London and join her and other artists in St Ives.
Some of the works you can see in our collection come directly from Shearer Armstrong’s own collection and in 40 years, have travelled only a few hundred metres from Porthmeor Studios where they were created, to Sail Lofts-St Ives.
We continue to acquire new art works and add to the collection. In addition to established St Ives and Cornish artists, we also seek to showcase new talent with young and upcoming contemporary artists. Many artists are still inspired by the beauty of Cornwall, the coastline, the town and its beautiful Atlantic light. Modern and Contemporary artists are now living alongside in the Sail Lofts apartment to create a unique environment for our guests.
We highlight some of the works on show here but we hope you enjoy living with the works in your own apartment during your stay in St Ives.