I spent last week in the south west of England, based in a lovely apartment overlooking Falmouth harbour. One of the places we visited was the open air Minack Theatre at Porthcurno. The theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade, who worked on the project for over 50 years until her death in 1983. You can find more about her story here.
I had seen the theatre featured in a couple of TV documentaries before, but to stand on the stage, looking out to Porthcurno beach on a beautiful June day was a fantastic experience. I can only imagine how lovely it would be to see a play there on a still summer evening, with the sunset forming the backdrop to the production. However, good weather is never guaranteed, and audiences have to be prepared for storms as well as sunsets.
To make the idea of the theatre into a reality took enormous vision, and huge commitment. Likewise, the Eden Project, which I visited for the third time while in Cornwall.
Tim Smit, the man behind the project, turned a disused China clay quarry into amazing and eco-friendly gardens – a huge tourist attraction, charity and educational resource.
While there, I filled up my camera with pictures of some fabulous flowers and plants (including this one of the world’s biggest flower, the titan arum, which only blooms for 48 hours after a wait of around 7 years).
The gardens feature two main biomes – huge covered structures which recreate the environment of the rainforest and the mediterranean respectively. If you notice some exotic hibiscus flowers, pineapples, calla lilies or torch ginger flowers creeping into my artwork in the next few weeks, you’ll know exactly where the inspiration came from.