Inspirational People: Alfred Wallis Part 2

‘The grave of that bloke you like is in there.’ said Hot Stuff as we pulled into the car park above Porthmeor Beach on our Cornwall trip the other weekend. In spite of a dodgy leg he was up for looking for the tombstone of Alfred Wallis with me. ‘There it is.’ he said triumphantly as he spotted it. My other half likes to be the winner even if there isn’t a competition going on.

So here is the beautiful grave of one of my favourite artists bedecked with tiles made by the potter Bernard Leach. I’ve included an enlargement of the section that shows a tiny mariner at the door of the great big lighthouse. It was a motif in Alfred Wallis’ paintings. I was very moved to be standing at the grave of one of my favourite artists and felt quite teary. I wished that I’d brought flowers but had to resort to putting a sprig of holly from a nearby bush on the grave. I’m sure that a man who improvised with the material that he used to make his work would have approved.

As a bonus when we walked into town we spotted Alfred Wallis’ tiny cottage, a holiday home now with towels and linen included in the rental fee. I’d love to stay and also visit the Tate to see some Wallis paintings but Hot Stuff wasn’t keen on the idea. He’s not that arty. Maybe it’s one to save for a break with my girlies.

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