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St. Ives_ Shoji Hamada_ Alfred Wallace and Kettles Yard House

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					 Overseas News                                                Tokyo Tech Chronicle No. 376, Apr. 2003




             St. Ives, Shoji Hamada, Alfred Wallace and Kettle's Yard House

                                                                                   Noboru Hidano
                                              Graduate School for Decision Science and Technology


                                                    time fused in her work the breaking waves of St.
St. Ives                                            Ives. She loved this place and passed away in a
                                                    fire at her studio in 1975. Her second husband
  It was much after noon when I arrived at the      was the abstract artist Ben Nicholson.
small station in St. Ives; a small harbor town of
Cornwall on the southwestern coast of Great
Britain.


   The town is home to the St. Ives Annex of
the Tate Museum, which Great Britain is most
proud of. Why is an annex of such a prestigious
museum located in this remote area? The             Picture 1: View of St. Ives
reason is that the weather in that area is
relatively comfortable, and many painters, such        Tate St. Ives is located next to a cemetery
as the landscape painter William Turner, have       beyond the north hill. The expansive museum
visited since the early 19th century. By the end    windows open to the sky and the waves of the
of the century, many artists, not only from         Atlantic. Works by Shoji Hamada are displayed
England but also from Russia, France and other      beside ceramics by Bernard Leach. The world
European countries, had moved in the area.          famous ceramist Hamada, who won the Order
While the town has lost much of its radiance,       of Culture, built kilns and created many works
many vestiges still remain.                         of art at requests from his old friend, Bernard
                                                    Leach.
   I climbed up a slope from the station and
viewed the town and harbor from a small
observatory. The town lies between two hills,
with the art studio of the sculptor Barbara
Hepworth in the center. Her works are in front
of the United Nations in New York and the Tate
Britain in London. She came from Yorkshire          Picture 2: Tate St. Ives
and was a classmate of Henry Moore at art
school. It is said that she has been inspired by      Alfred Wallace, a unique painter, has works
the gentle slopes of the hills, while at the same   on display in Tate St. Ives. He had been a sailor
and started making paintings in St. Ives after        He started to think about creating a space
the age of 60. He depicted ships and houses of     where all students and visitors can relax and
different heights and sizes by rubbing the paint   naturally experience beauty free from a sense
against an irregularly-shaped board. His           of barriers between the visitors and the art
paintings look as if they had been painted by      works. He regarded this place as being different
elementary school students. It was 1928 when       from the traditional museum or gallery. In 1957,
Ben Nicholson discovered the power of his          he was able to start creating such a space by
paintings. Wallace suffered in poverty until he    remodeling a ruined house. Cambridge
passed away and rests now next to the Tate.        University subsequently took over and
The gravestone was particularly beautiful,         expanded the project. Completion of the project
decorated with ceramic tiles fired by Bernard      was celebrated in 1970 with a concert by
Leach. The motif is the lighthouse that Wallace    Jacqueline du Pre and Daniel Barenboim, in the
often depicted in his works.                       presence of Prince Charles, who is a graduate
                                                   of Trinity College, which is the wealthiest
                                                   college at Cambridge University.


                                                      This “house” is a special place that is only
                                                   open for two hours every afternoon. It has a
                                                   huge collection brought together by Ede, with
                                                   works by Wallace occupying an important
                                                   place. At Kettle’s Yard House, it is possible to
                                                   enjoy works by Wallace, along with those by
                                                   Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Bernard
                                                   Leach. Small concerts are frequently held there.
Picture 3: The grave of Alfred Wallace             Kettle’s Yard is undoubtedly a major asset for
                                                   Cambridge.
   Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and
Bernard Leach are not the only artists to             The Kettle’ Yard Gallery is right beside the
recognize the talents of Wallace. Jim Ede, an      house. The displays of paintings, sculptures and
assistant curator, also bought many of his         modern art screen images are changed every
paintings for virtually nothing.                   month. Works by young artists are frequently
                                                   displayed by invitation from Cambridge
Cambridge                                          University.


  Jim Ede has been in close contact with many        In addition to galleries, there are many small
works of art on a daily basis at many places,      theaters, halls and seminar rooms in Cambridge.
such as the Fitzwilliam Museum, since he was       For example, John Maynard Keynes, a
a student at Leys School; the public school in     representative figure among 20th century
Cambridge that provided the setting for the        economists, was born in a house on Harvey
“Goodbye, Mr. Chips” story.                        Street near the station and he donated his
                                                       university of science and engineering, it is
                                                       essential to raise strong pillars of modern art,
                                                       economics and philosophy on our campus, such
                                                       as those that fostered the quality of Kettle’s
                                                       Yard, the experiments at Keynes Hall, and the
                                                       heated discussions of Gibbs Building.
                                                       Cutting-edge science technology cannot be
Picture 4: View from outside of Kettle’ Yard Gallery   established in isolation.


                                                          When Shoji Hamada was at school, he had
                                                       no hesitation about entering “Kuramae” (Tokyo
                                                       Tech) to attend the classes of Itaya Hazan, who
                                                       had graduated from Tokyo University of the
                                                       Arts and honed an artistic style that was both
                                                       delicate and heartwarming. Without being
Picture 5: View from inside of Kettle’ Yard Gallery    deluded by the superficial or mislead by the
                                                       opinions of others, we must have the ability to
wealth earned from the stock market to King’s          recognize people with true talents and skills, as
College. One of the facilities built with his          well as the resolve to support them in order to
donation is Keynes Hall. It seats about 150            create truly unique and international students,
people and it often holds concerts. The venue          such as Hamada whose possessed a vision that
has witnessed various events, such as releases         draw on art, engineering, philosophy and
of new songs and wonderful performances.               economics.


   Seminars are held in the seminar room,
furbished with its small fireplace, of the Gibbs
Building for fellows of King’s College.
Debates by Wittgenstein, who verbally attacked
the philosopher of science Bertrand Russell,
and Karl Popper, who advocated social
engineering, also took place there.


   Such small but meaningful links between
real works and people have supported the
creation of knowledge in Cambridge and have
facilitated the production of new treasures.


Tokyo


  If we are to claim to be a world-class

				
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