CORNWALL

As a small child growing up in St Ives there's something about the way the sea is up there. There's a high horizon - Godrevy Lighthouse and the headland. There's this enormous bay. You're high up looking down over the harbour. Then you're down in through the houses and the sea is way up there. So you've always got this sense of going right down into and being held in this valley.

St Ives Fish '92

But what's happening with the sea? If you go out to the horizon in your imagination, where is it going left? The sun comes up here behind you and goes down over there. The sun is always going down to this mysterious place - it's actually Labrador. The fishing boats went out there and came back. You go out to Seal Island and you get a bit of it: Suddenly you're down in the swell of the ocean or over the top of it and the cliffs are black.
That sense of where you are in your childhood's headspace: In your left hand it's over there where the sun sets. When you look back you map on your body your life's journey. The way the map is constructed, even the way we see the earth is literally a construction. When you take it apart it's just history but your own journey is unique. That's the special thing when you begin to draw and paint your life in your work.
If you come here you dream of living here or coming back. If you come here as a child you never forget. If you've grown up here you have to deal with the problems thrown up with the effects of tourism as an industry - a disneyfication, a picturesque, a cheapening of values and a false glorification of its wonderfulness.
You can't escape. Oxygen is being pumped into just about everything that can make a buck for good reason. Cornwall has always been exploited and the people who live here the most exploited. The people of this place are scattered to the ends of this earth - most of them.
 
 

Mickey Mount ' 01

 
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