St Ives

Sea/landscape. Upper left, headland with buildings on green hilltop, ocean to right. Bar of yellow ochre at lower margin with central pink brush strokes.

Object type
Medium and materials
oil on canvas
Place Made
St Ives, Cornwall, England

LR blue brush point F Scales

LR overpainted ochre brush point H Scales

LR blue brush point 1969

Verso (not in artist’s hand) ATL Scales Helen Flora V St Ives, 1969 oil 27 x 34.5cms 92173½ Rack 393

Credit Line

Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979

Copyright Licence
Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Reference no. G-342
Current Collection

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand

Current Location

Wellington, New Zealand

General notes

Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by the artist, 1979. Title and date supplied by artist at time of donation.

The location of this work was identified by British artist, Patrick Heron, while as an artist-in-residence at the International Art Workshop, Teschemakers Resort, Kakanui, Oamaru, 9 February - 1 March, 1991.

This is one of a series of paintings based on the location of the Pedn-Olva Hotel on Porthminster Beach. Pedn-Olva means 'lookout on the headland'. The hotel is a registered navigational mark for ships which perhaps added to its attraction as a subject for Scales, with her lifelong interest in boats, ships, piers and the sea.

The 1950s saw the burgeoning of the St Ives School of artists in England which included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Wynter and Bernard Leach. 

After the death of her mother Flora Scales moved to Cornwall, England. Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979: “I went to a horrible room in Mousehole, all yellow rocks. Not a good place for painting. Back to St Ives. I lived in a little hotel on the sea front at Penzance. Had a sale and then went back to St Ives. I used to pass Barbara Hepworth's studio and could hear her hammering. She was always hammering. I didn't like to disturb her and never went in." 

In her series of studies of this subject Scales may well have moved between a greater and lesser degree of abstraction making it difficult to determine in which order they were painted.

No. 29 in the exhibition Helen F V Scales, Auckland City Art Gallery, 1975-1976.

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