Spend the longest night of the year with me on BBC Radio 4 Extra when St Ives and Me is repeated on December 21st
I’ve just learnt from my lovely producers, Mukti Jain Campion and Chris Eldon Lee at Culture Wise, that my BBC R4 programme about the history of artists in St Ives, Cornwall, is on again.
BBC Radio 4 Extra is repeating St Ives and Me on Wednesday 21st Dec 6.30am, 1.30pm and 8.30pm. And there may even be one at 1.30 the next morning if you haven’t had enough of me by then or have rolled in merry from Christmas season fun and frolix and are in need of entertainment.
Available after broadcast here.
St Ives, a Cornish seaside town 300 miles from comedian and poet Anna Chen’s London home has been attracting artists for two centuries. A varied assortment of eccentrics, entrepreneurs and free spirits have turned the pilchard-fishing and tin-mining town into a popular cultural haven.
Anna has been holidaying there since she was ten and knew many of the famous artists who’ve populated and popularised St Ives.
In the late 1970s the bohemian fashion journalist and novelist Molly Parkin was a regular on the St. Ives scene and she recalls how, in the dark recesses of Mr Peggotty’s disco, she introduced Anna to artist Patrick Heron. In his Porthmeor studio by the Atlantic, Heron used to make Anna mugs of tea while he painted and sketched her and their conversations opened her eyes to the arts. Revisiting those studios, she meets two present day painters maintaining the St Ives’ tradition.
On a personal tour of the town, she returns to Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture garden, hears about the unique light conditions that attract so many artists and reveals the vital roles Napoleon, Von Ribbentrop and the 1960s hippies played in promoting and preserving St Ives.
At lunchtime, in Norway Square, Anna performs her comic poetry in the St Ives Festival, which has been attracting trendsetters for thirty years.
And she waits on the beach, with bated breath, for the legendary 33rd wave.
Producer: Chris Eldon Lee
A Culture Wise production for BBC Radio 4.
|At Tate St Ives for Martin Creed’s balloon installation|
|Jan Jefferies and Anna|
|Denise and Steve Ingamells at Tate St Ives|
|Jan Jefferies and Charles Shaar Murray at Tate St Ives|
|Producer Chris Eldon-Lee interviews Valerie Hurry in the Tate St Ives Rotunda|
|Chris recording in Fore Street, St Ives|
|Chris reads at a St Ives festival session in Norway Square.
Also present, artists Bob Devereux, Keir Williamson
and the late, much missed Colin Birchall
|Bob Devereux hosts the St Ives Festival lunchtime sessions in Norway Square.
With Marc Jefferies and Charles Shaar Murray
|Lol in Norway Square|
|Rod Bullimore, Norway Square, St Ives|
|Buffalo Bill Smith and Colin Birchall at the Frug in the St Ives Arts Club|
|With Clare Wardman in the studio she shares with Iain Robertson|
|Clare and Iain’s view over the beach from Porthmeor Studios|
|Charles Shaar Murray in The Hub|
|Anna and Jan in Barbara Hepworth’s conservatory|
|Anna and Jan on the Island below St Nicholas Chapel|
|Charles Shaar Murray and Chris Eldon Lee in The Mermaid|
|Jan, Anna and Denise in The Mermaid|
|Sunset over Porthmeor Beach and the Clodgy|
MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE
Charles Shaar Murray and Buffalo Bill Smith — Walking Blues by Robert Johnson
Charles Shaar Murray — Dylan in ’66
Bob Devereux — Queen of the Gypsies; Oak
Lol accompanying Bob Devereux
Rod Bullimore — Last Orders; Sewage Against Surfers
Anna Chen — Ode to a Detox on Leaving St Ives; Kicking a Dinosaur
Anna’s poetry collection, Reaching For My Gnu is available here
More information on Anna’s radio programmes here