Exhibition shows quirky side of life in West Cornwall
Spotlight's David George has been to see some of the huge collection of photographs
Penlee Gallery's new exhibition, The Marvellous Everyday, shows a collection of previously unseen photographs of west Cornwall.
Dating from the dawn of century through to the 1960s, the collection depicts a quirkier side of life in the area.
Rather than the picturesque views depicted on postcards, the exhibition includes bizarrely composed images, informal snapshots and press photos.
The collection by local photographers has never before been seen.
A fishing boat is wedged in a house wall
Some of the events depicted in the photographs are strange. But, more often than not, it is the act of photographing that creates the sense of wonder, accidentally or otherwise.
The images in this exhibition raise more questions than answers: why, for example, did a Victorian photographer take a picture of Penzance promenade with a boom lying idle on the pavement?
Who is the strange-looking man in a dressing gown, hood up, standing in a meditative pose in a conservatory?
Some of the photographs show intriguing events, from shorts-wearing young men of Penzance Health and Strength Club doing bizarre gymnastic poses, to a fishing boat wedged in a house wall, or people "walking on water" in Newlyn harbour.
Taking a dive
The formality of Victorian poses and the evident novelty of picture-taking lends a quirkiness to the early photographs.
Some of the later press images, long since separated from their captions, raise questions all of their own about who the people are and what on earth they are doing.
Maybe visitors will be able to shed light on some of the images.
Also on show is a wide selection of Newlyn School and Lamorna group paintings, including works by Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes, Walter Langley, Frank Bramley, Lamorna Birch and Dod Procter.
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