The wreck of the Alba.

I awoke this morning and listened to the news on the radio about Scottish politics. I wondered why the name Alba was so familiar to me. Then I remembered Alfred Wallis’s painting. For some years, like a number of other local artists, I worked freelance at The Tate St Ives to lead workshops and tours, to offer an artists insight into their changing exhibitions.

This is the work of Alfred Wallis, a fascinating painter, self taught and sadly much faked. But his influence on the Post war artists from London, like Ben Nicholson , Hepworth and Christopher Wood is well known. His knowledge of the tides and sea evident in his paintings of ships and boats in a variety of situations and places. He was a mariner who had a variety of occupations, including scrap. In his painting below which belongs to the Tate he has recorded the terrible event of the wrecking of the Panamanian Steamer, the Alba , off Porthmeor beach in the winter of 1938.

The wreck of the Alba . Oil on wood . By Alfred Wallis . The Tate Gallery

Fellow painter , specialist in Wallis’s work and gent Rob Jones has written a great book about the man, to find out more : https://www.robertjonesartist.com/alfred-wallis-artist-mariner/

I watch with interest the ongoing Scottish political wrangles and wonder if ‘Alba’ will safely navigate their stormy seas .

Copyright © Zoe Cameron 2007 - 2021 All Rights Reserved

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