Tate St Ives: Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018

(♪ MUSIC) Tate St Ives was established in 1993, to celebrate the role that Modernism had played in the town
from the 1930s onwards. 2017 has been the most incredible year
for Tate St Ives. We have doubled the size of our galleries,
refurbished the old spaces. Alongside that, we developed this brand
new gallery which, for the first time, allows us to have an incredibly exciting
contemporary art programme. We are on the balcony,
overlooking Porthmeor beach. It’s a wonderful place to come,
particularly in the summer. You can sit here in the glorious sunshine. You can have your lunch or a drink. You’ve got that wonderful view, but you’ve
also got the artwork here as well. I think everybody in the town was nervous,
because they didn’t know what to expect, and the building work that was done here
isn’t actually seen from the street. It’s hard to believe that they managed
to get this much space into that, what was just a hole in the ground,
basically. And the fact that it’s so accessible
for everybody. Going into a gallery is not
the easiest thing for me in a wheelchair, but this has got so much space
and the flow is so easily worked out. We’ve been inspired
by the writings of Virginia Woolf. Before that,
we had a wonderful solo exhibition by the British artist Rebecca Warren. Even with these first two exhibitions, you
can see the potential of this new gallery to show some of the most exciting art. The Tate Collective produces
a really good way of inviting younger people
into the gallery space. It exists to produce events. It’s to produce days and experiences within the galleries, to provide something that’s different, that people haven’t necessarily
experienced before. I think the Collective brings
a real revitalisation to the gallery. I think we cater to
a new kind of audience, essentially, that wouldn’t necessarily have come to the
gallery or have experienced these things. We issued the locals’ pass
for Cornish residents. Since the opening weekend,
we have sold thousands of locals’ passes. Many people have visited the gallery
for the very first time, so that we also see that we’re engaging
with new audiences in Cornwall. The visitors are really enthusiastic. We’re getting many more visitors and I think it’s made a big difference. Whether they’ve got their best suit on
or a pair of flipflops and shorts, they all receive the same welcome —
which is a really good welcome. I get excited every time
I come in the gallery because the length of time that people
are staying is just wonderful. There’s a real appreciation of the depth
and the richness of the material that we have on show. To be able to have a gallery like this
in St Ives, that’s just amazing! I think I love the Tate, here in particular, just because of the opportunity
it gives people, the way it connects with people
and brings people together.

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