Past Visits, Workshops and Other Events

The Summer Party at Polgoon Vineyard

Thursday 11th July 2019 

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South West Area Golden Celebration at Dartington Hall

Wednesday 18th July 2018

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Dartington Hall Estate provided the perfect venue in fine weather for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts  Societies (NADFAS) which, as we all know has segued into The Arts Society.

Two days were set aside in the middle of July and much good work had been done by volunteers to ensure that all went well. A contingent from The Arts Society, West Cornwall took our display of self-portrait spoons so as to represent all our presence at the festivities. A fish box from Newlyn filled with oasis and playpit sand and all the spoons provided the centrepiece of our society display which provided a much admired counterpoint to the worthy lists of other societies’ activities. We also provided the Young Arts stand with a focal centre of interest in the form of Zoe’s sculpture trophy that we award every year to the chosen art student at Penwith College. Artwork was provided by Diana and Tim Wayne to the concomitant art exhibition.

The day (both days were identical in format) with a welcome from David Yates, Area Chairman and Julie Goldsmith, National Chairman who relayed the history of the Society’s foundation and talked of the spread of the organisation throughout the South West and the world. We then moved on to the meat of the day with Peter Medhurst (who has previously entertained us at one of our Christmas lectures) giving us an introduction to Dartington and its world of music before moving onto his thoughts on the folk music of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Rounding off the morning’s proceedings, he expounded on the musical connections at Wells, Exeter and Truro cathedrals. In the lunch break, the West Cornwall contingent enjoyed the good meal, then perused the exhibitions receiving many compliments before walking the grounds and admiring the Henry Moore sculpture.

The afternoon’s entertainment was spiced up with more of Peter Medhurst’s musical talent as he took us through an enlightening discourse on native composers of the West Country followed by a quick run through of famous composers who have visited this part of the world including Joseph Haydn, Katie Moss and Sir Arnold Bax. Peter Medhurst is the consummate Arts Society lecturer combining entertainment with erudition.

After cream teas, there was a fun ‘Antiques Call my Bluff’ provide by the sponsors Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood in which three of their experts gave three different descriptions of a number of articles with a valuation for each, asking us to choose the correct exposition. It proved remarkably different but Samme Charlesworth did best of our group.

Liz le Grice and Carrie Baker took the opportunity to meet with the Area Chairman to ensure that West Cornwall was remembered well and received suitable congratulations on the health of our society.

A champagne reception in the evening was entertained by the Lipson Academy Jazz Ensemble to round of a pleasant and memorable day.

St Just: Church, History of St Just & Plain an Gwarry.

Wednesday 25th July 2018

Floral Summer Party at Morrab Library

Thursday 12th July 2018

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Tour of Godolphin House and lunch

Wednesday 6th December 2017


Special Lecture in association with Penwith College and sponsored by the Arts Society HQ

Food Art and History

Tasha Marks

Tuesday 11th October 2017


Walking Tour of Mousehole and Newlyn

Dr. Joanna Mattingly

Wednesday 27th September 2017
Some images of St Peter’s church Newlyn.
 Undoubtably the highlights of the day were the opportunities we had, thanks to Jo Mattingly’s contacts , to visit a number of historically importantly houses. This included the Ashby’s house, probably the oldest house in Mousehole to escape the ravages of the 17th century Spanish raid, as well as a another  house which was formerly used as a pilchard press.
The warm welcome and kind hospitality of the hosts was memorable.

Annual Summer Party

At Poolside, Jubilee Pool, Penzance
Thursday 13th July 2017

Lido drinks party 2017_07

Visit to Bosvigo House & Gardens, Truro

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Wendy Perry the owner and architect of these beautiful gardens in central Truro was a perfect host when a group from West Cornwall came to visit. A tour and talk was followed by afternoon tea and a recommendation that if you missed the trip, to make your own way there another time and enjoy the surroundings for yourself.


Quiz Night at the Tennis Club
28th January 2017


The usual fun and games was had with
mostly good losers and of course,
a tasty supper too.

Christmas Metalcraft Greetings Card Workshop

22nd November 2016


 A very enthusiastic group of members sat down with Sharon McSwiney to discover the joy of making unique greeting cards from sheet copper and brass.

Presentation Shield for Art Prize Winner

The West img_0560Cornwall Decorative and Fine Arts Society Art Prize was presented to Lisa Mae Evans for a sublime oil painting. At the time she received the prize of a sculpture plus £100. To commemorate this award, a presentation shield has been purchased to show the names of the winners each year. Lisa Mae now has an entry and the 2015 winner Abbie Trevorrow has the very first entry on the shield.


A Summer Drinks Party   14th July 2016


It was a most perfect evening for the summer party at the glorious Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens at Gulval. Members strolled through the sun-dappled valley and up gentle pathways planted with exotic bamboos and succulents to reach their destination – James Turrell’s stunning Skyspace.
There is a fuller review of the evening and more images in the September 2016 Arts Buzz or click  here

Visit to Greenway

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A splendid day visiting Greenway House,the former home of Dame Agatha Christie.

Dinner and a Movie in Newlyn

28 April 2016copper-logo

A special treat for West Cornwall DFAS members was  supper followed by a private screening for our members of the film Museum Hours at the brand new Newlyn Filmhouse.

  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
    3 March 2016

    A private view of the Ithell Colquhoun exhibition, as well as an insight into how the gallery puts an exhibition together, with Penlee Gallery Director Louise Connell. 
  • A Tour of Madron Church and Zennor Church
    23 February 2016

    A visit to Madron Church and Zennor Church with historian Dr Joanna Mattingly, including lunch at the Tinner’s Arms in Zennor. 
  • A Day Out to Buckfast Abbey and Totnes Christmas Market
    15 December 2015

    In the run-up to Christmas, members had a sodden walk around Buckfast Abbey followed by a jolly time at Totnes Christmas market. As usual, the coach made that all-important Waitrose stop on the return trip. 
  • 07Lebanese Cookery Taster Day
    26 November 2015

    Instructor (and artist) Basma Ashworth gave members an amazing opportunity
    to appreciate the authentic tastes of the Middle East. The group made all sorts of both sweet and savoury treats including rice dishes, stuffed vegetables, stuffed vine leaves, chicken stuffed with rice and nuts, fattoush (a delicious Lebanese salad), traditional Lebanese Christmas biscuits stuffed with dates and walnuts and,of course, baklava. 
  • West Cornwall DFAS Does London!
    18-20 November 2015

    A group of West Cornwall DFAS members descended on The Big Smoke for a couple of days of culture and fun. They saw the Ai Wei Wei exhibition at the Royal Academy, visited the V&A for ‘The Fabric of India’ exhibition, had a special VIP visit to and toured Middle Temple. 
  • An Evening in Montmartre – Summer Drinks
    Montmatre Trereife9 July 2015

    Trereife was the setting for this year’s Summer Drinks party, with members getting into the spirit by dressing up in their best bohemian Parisian gear. They enjoyed music from La Roulotte and wonderful French cheeses courtesy of Newlyn Cheese and Charcuterie. 
  • 23A Tour of Terence Coventry’s Sculpture Park
    24 June 2015

    We enjoyed a spectacular walk along the coast path from Coverack village to the Sculpture Park. Sculptor Terence Coventry generously gave us his time to show us his work and tell us about his process. 
  • Cornish DFAS Special Interest Day – Twentieth Century Sculpture
    17 June 2015

    West Cornwall DFAS hosted this Special Interest Day held at Truro’s Alverton Hotel for all of the NADFAS societies in Cornwall. Popular lecturer Linda Smith presented a full day of lectures about 20th Century Sculpture, including the avant-garde, the cubists, the traditionalists and the surrealists, as well as land art and performance art. 
  • A Visit to Boconnoc House
    28 May 2015

    Members enjoyed a day at one of Cornwall’s loveliest and most historic country houses. They toured the house as well as the beautiful woodland gardens full of camellias, azaleas and hydrangeas, and had a delicious two-course lunch. 
  • Ceramics Workshop
    21 April 2015

    Ceramicist and West Cornwall DFAS committee member Samme Charlesworth led members in a wonderful ceramics workshop. Using slab work, participants created and decorated their own cylindrical vases. 
  • Burns Night at Trereife
    IMG_321425 January 2015

    Members celebrated the life and poetry of Rabbie Burns with drink (including whisky, of course), some Scottish nibbles, a wee bit of poetry and a concert by renowned lutenist Ben Salfield and soprano Lucile Clitherow. The evening was finished off with some not-so traditional Highland games. 
  • A Trip to Cotehele – with bonus stop at Waitrose!
    10 December 2014

    A visit to Cotehele, a “magical Tudor house” full of fascinating tapestries, furniture, pewter and more. Members also enjoyed the beautiful Christmas decorations, including the famous 60-foot dried flower garland in the Great Hall. On the way back to Penzance, we stopped for a vital shopping spree at Waitrose. 
  • Christmas Card Screen Printing Workshop
    26 November 2014

    Members spent the day at Kiwi Print Studio in Camborne, creating their own spectacular Christmas cards. 
  • 07Quiz Night at the Tennis Club
    11 October 2014

    Our third annual quiz night. Members enjoyed uproarious quizzing and a splendid two-course supper. 
  • A Guided Tour of Tate St Ives
    18 September 2014

    A guided tour of the ‘International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives, 1915-1965’ exhibition by artist and tutor Ges Wilson, to tie in with our September lecture, ‘How to Look at Art’. 
  • 030714_White_Nights_07Drinks on a Summer’s Evening
    3 July 2014

    Our annual celebration of summer at beautiful Trereife House near Penzance. This year our theme was ‘Russian White Nights’, or ‘belye nochi’ as the Russianscall them. Members wore white and enjoyed delicious Russian-themed nibblesand tipples.
  • A Day Out to Coombe Trenchard
    17 June 2014

    A glorious day spent at Coombe Trenchard, a stunning Edwardian Arts and Crafts house in Devon. We explored the house, including the amazing disappearing wall, and the gardens and enjoyed lunch on the terrace in the sun. 
  • 07Open Studios: The Wild Side of Lamorna and Crean
    29 May 2014
    A visit to see some of the most fascinating artists participating in this year’s Cornwall Open Studios, including Basma Ashworth, Paul Levin and Amanda Richardson. 
  • Edible Masterpiece Fundraising Event for The Art Fund
    10 May 2014

    Entrants were asked to bring along art-inspired creations – cakes, pizzas, etc. – to The Exchange Gallery in Penzance. The entries were judged and then auctioned, with all proceeds going to support The Art Fund. 
  • An Afternoon at Godolphin House
    6 May 2014

    A repeat of last year’s popular events, including a photography masterclass by West Cornwall DFAS photographer Simon Cook, a tour of Godolphin House and a sumptuous tea in the dining room. 
  • Stone Carving Taster Day
    1 April 2014

    Stone carving_08Members had a fantastic opportunity to try their hands at stone carving at the Newlyn School of Art. This one-day taster workshop allowed them to learn the fundamentals of stone carving, and they each went home with their very own small relief carving. 
  • Studying Church Paintings in Breage and St Hilary
    6 March 2014

    Members had a wonderful opportunity to see the medieval church paintings at Breage and the Newlyn School paintings at St Hilary, with an illustrated talk by Dr Joanna Mattingly, historian and author of Looking at Cornish Churches, all followed by a cream tea at the St Hilary Heritage Centre. 
  • Christmas Glass Workshop
    20 November 2013

    We held a glass workshop with studio glass-maker Noreen Todd. Using the glass fusing method, participants designed their own glass squares which were then cut and fired and made gorgeous Christmas decorations. 
  • The Second Annual WCDFAS Quiz Night
    12 October 2013

    A night of laughter and fun at the Penzance Tennis Club as six competitive teams battled for the title of WCDFAS Quiz Champions. This time, last year’s winners Dead Choughed were defeated by Art Attack who held off close runners-up Cole and the Porters. Well done to Samme Charlesworth, Roger and Tessa Garside, Theresa Gilder, Helen Kestle and Liz Woods. The evening was topped off by a delicious meal put on by the Tennis Club. 
  • Indigo Dyeing Workshop (Blue September event)
    28 September 2013
    An enthusisastic group of about 15 West Cornwall DFAS members got messy and learned all about indigo dyeing with textile artist Vivien Prideaux. Using Japanese shibori techniques, we created sample-sized pieces of fabric with stunning results. By the end of the day, two full clothes-lines of ‘blue bits’ could be seen outside the Penlee Coach House.
  • Blue Velvet screening at The Lime Tree (Blue September event)
    26 September 2013
    We met at The Lime Tree Café at Tremenheere for a screening of David Lynch’s surreal 1986 cult classic, Blue Velvet. Before the film, we all enjoyed one of The Lime Tree’s famous spreads, including chowder and homebaked bread.
  • Young Arts Launch Party
    19 September 2013
    We had a party on Porthmeor Beach in St Ives to view the gorgeous deck chairs which were produced as a result of our first Young Arts project. The students who participated were on hand with their families, along with St Ives Mayor Colin Nicholls, the local press and a good number of West Cornwall DFAS members. We enjoyed lovely refreshments while admiring the chairs and watching the waves crashing on the beach.
  • Poems, Plays and Fairytales
    20 July 2013
    We sponsored this Study Morning in conjunction with the Penzance LitFest. NADFAS lecturer and art historian Cath Wallace led members on a tour of Penlee Gallery’s ‘Poems, Plays and Fairytales’ exhibition, of which she was co-curator. Following the tour, we enjoyed a lecture from Catherine which discussed in more detail the unique imagery that artists such as Elizabeth A. Forbes, Henry M. Rheam, Fred Hall and Thomas Cooper Cotch created and the literature as well as historic revival that inspired them.
  • Drinks on a Summer’s Evening
    11 July 2013
    A repeat of last year’s popular event. Members mingled, raised a glass and enjoyed the splendid gardens of Trereife House as dusk fell.  Photos can be seen here. 
  • A Visit to Kelly House and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter
    14 May 2013
    We set off on a rainy day for a visit to Kelly House in Devon, and then on to Exeter for a tour of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Warin Kelly, the 31st Squire of Kelly, told us about the history of his house and guided us around the grounds and through the fascinating house. After a drive to Exeter and a break for lunch, we were given a whistle-stop tour of the fabulous Royal Albert Memorial Museum, and then a chance to wander around the museum on our own before catching the coach back to Penzance. See  the photos here.
  • An Afternoon at Godolphin House
    9 April and 4 June 2013

    This very popular event began a special photography masterclass by WCDFAS friend and photographer Simon Cook. After the class, members were given a guided tour of Godolphin House, followed by a sumptuous high tea feast served in the dining room. The day was so successful that a second one was subsequently added, with a third one planned for later this year or perhaps next spring! See photos  here.
  • Christmas Card Printing Workshop
    17 November 2012

    SONY DSCWe were thrilled to be able to offer our members a very special opportunity to make their own custom-printed Christmas cards. Members created their own unique edition of Christmas cards to give to friends and family while learning more about a wide range of printing and letterpress techniques. Renowned artist Jesse Leroy Smith provided one-to-one tuition on creating the Christmas card images with various printing techniques, and artist and talented illustrator Alex Higlett provided letterpress tuition throughout the day. See  more photos here.
  • The First Ever WCDFAS Quiz Night
    20 October 2012

    A jolly group of members put on their thinking caps and settled in for some challenging arty quizzing fun at the Penzance Tennis Club. The evening included a two-course meal and a lot of laughs. Congratulations to our winners, Choughed (Dave and Jenni Balow, Ian and Eleanor Berwick and Mike and Ros Clough).
  • Private Auction Viewing
    28 September 2012

    WCDFAS friend and supporter David Lay arranged for members to have a rare personal tour and private viewing at the Penzance Auction House on the evening before the 2012 autumn Antiques and Collectables sale. This successful event sold out quickly.
  • Drinks on a Summer’s Evening
    5 July 2012

    We all met to raise a glass and mingle with other members at beautiful Trereife House. With live music and a wander around the gardens as dusk fell, it was a perfect evening. See some photos here.
  • Visit to Cothay Manor and Willows & Wetlands Centre
    19 June 2012

    49Members set off from Penzance early for a visit to the lovely Cothay Manor, said to be the finest example of a small medieval manor in England. We were given a guided tour of the house, after which we all enjoyed exploring the magical gardens that surround the manor. From there, it was a short drive to the Willows & Wetlands Centre for lunch and a fascinating demonstration about the history and art of willow growing and basketmaking, one of the most traditional of English industries. Before heading back home, so members wandered around the willow beds while others joined in a charcoal drawing class with artist and tutor Alice Mumford, using charcoal produced from the same willow beds. See more photos here.
  • Visit to Pentillie Castle
    4 April 2012

    A full day of learning about Humphrey Repton was on the books for us in April. Tutor Keir Davidson, writer, landscape designer and NADFAS lecturer, lectured us about the life and work of this prolific18th century landscape designer, and the day included tours of Catchfrench Manor and Port Eliot. See photos here.
  • Oil Painting Workshop and Sandra Blow Studio Tour
    16 March 2012

    12A group of enthusiastic members started the day with an oil-painting workshop led by Alice Mumford, a respected St. Ives artist and tutor. After a delicious lunch, we took a short walk to the studio of renowned abstract artist Sandra Blow, for a tour and discussion of her work. See more photos here.