LETTER : Art at St Ives is all about experience

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The Independent Online
From Mr A. Lancaster Sir: As a frequent user of the multi-faceted Tate St Ives gallery, I feel that Iain Gale (5 January) reveals an archaic view of modernism, a view cocooned within a comfortable but past conception of the role of gallery education. Modernism is an experience as opposed to a collection of artefacts and, during my contacts with the gallery both professionally and personally, it is this experience of modernism which has transformed my understanding and that of many of our students.

What is significant about the Tate St Ives is not the amount of detail revealed in the labelling, nor the academic structuring of their displays, but that throughout one has the excitement of feeling a part of an event, or series of events.

The emphasis upon lectures, tours at all levels, performances and special showings; a constant stream of projects, artists in residence and links with the educational community; regular workshops and events within the gallery and excursions into the verywindswept moors which lain Gale bemoans; and taking sculpture to the beach all indicate that the Tate St Ives is truly in the centre of the revelation and experience of modernism.

Yours sincerely, A. LANCASTER Head of Creative Arts St Austell College St Austell, Cornwall