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Setting off from our little cottage in Falmouth my housemate and I had prepared well for the not-so-long walk ahead. Camera? Check. Tea? Check. And snacks? Check. Armed with a little grey booklet we headed out into the unknown in search of some orange os.
It wasn’t long before we spotted our first at the bottom of Penryn high street; this studio belonged to Ronn Beattie. After a little hunt through the garden we reached a small studio and were greeted by a friendly artist who was keen to explain her work.
Ronn told us about one of her many sculptures made of dead coral taken from the Middle East - she hoped it would help raise awareness about the environmental problems happening in this area. We left with an understanding of where and why she produces her work, and soaked up some of the atmosphere in which the artist completes her pieces.
Our next stop was Penny MacBeth’s shop situated along the main high street which then leads on to her house. This studio has something for everyone, with an array of artwork, mosaics, hand-painted tiles and a vintage clothes rail, which kept us both busy for a while.
Penny shares her space with Linda Styles who was not at the studio but her work was on show for visitors to see. Artist Penny was keen to talk about Linda’s hand-painted ceramic tiles which Penny then uses in her mosaics. She was excited to tell us that they have recently been commissioned to work in Dubai. The atmosphere was relaxed and informal, Penny joked about how she finds it hard to keep tidy, but her little room full of vintage clothes, bags, ceramics and boxes stuffed full of different materials was a delight. This creative chaos was honest and real, reflecting Penny’s personality.
In a short space of time we had visited two very different artists and spaces and we hadn’t even touched our tea. We were left struck by how unique the experience was, popping into the home of a stranger and being invited to share in how their art is created. It’s an experience that will never be matched no matter how many art galleries you visit.
Emily Smith Intern at The Vine June 2011