I have returned from a week away at St Ives in Cornwall. I went last year for the first time and enjoyed it so much that I arranged to go back again (I apparently also went for the day as a child but I am not counting this as I cannot remember it!). There is a fantastic artistic and creative community within St Ives. This, coupled with is location on the coast, has provided a much needed break and a fresh impetus of inspiration.
The town itself is beautiful with lots of old buildings, lovely places to eat, galleries, craft shops and artists' studios, and the beaches and coastline are brilliant. I managed to squeeze in gallery visits, life drawing, photography and sketching, in between the eating, sunbathing, reading and plucking up the courage to swim in the cold sea! As I sort through the plethora of inspirational material that I have collated over the past week I wanted to share with you my favourite artefact from the St Ives Museum - ‘Tiny’:
Image scanned from card purchased from St Ives Museum Copyright of St Ives Museum 2004 Photograph by Tobi Carver
Tiny, described as ‘the world’s most wonderful dog’ within the museum blurb, was a pointer who lived for three years and was perfectly formed despite only being 14 cm long and 6.5 cm high. When Tiny died his body was preserved in a glass case which is now displayed within the museum.
St Ives Museum was crammed full of interesting artefacts, but the display case containing Tiny was by far my favourite. The museum had a very old fashioned approach to displaying exhibits, with artefacts often stacked floor to ceiling with hand written captions. This is the type of museum that I love to visit, as you never really know what you will discover. I also liked the fact that the museum was almost an exhibit in itself, the old building it is housed within, and the layout, preserved from a by-gone era.
We only found the display case featuring Tiny as we were heading towards the exit. There was a debate regarding whether or not Tiny’s story was true, and whether or not the case did indeed contain his preserved body. I like to think that it is true and, even if not, it is a fascinating object.