First broadcast: December 2010.
The art colony of St Ives in Cornwall became as important as Paris or London in the history of modernism during a golden creative period between the 1920s and 1960s. The dramatic lives and works of eight artists, who most made this miracle possible, from Kit Wood and Alfred Wallis to Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, are featured in a documentary which offers an alternative history of the 20th century avant-garde as well as a vivid portrayal of the history and landscapes of Cornwall itself.
Remote and romantic, Cornwall has many qualities but this gorgeous documentary focuses on its role as a colony for the modern art movement, and how a varied set of circumstances brought an extraordinary array of British and European painters and sculptors to its coastline between the 1920s and 1960s. The engaging Cambridge art historian James Fox is convinced that for a time Cornwall was as important a centre of art as London or Paris, helped by artists such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, "Kit" Wood, Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon.