Nominated for a Holyer an Gof Award 2019 (runner-up)

The name of St Ives has been synonymous with the visual arts since early in the last century, and in particular with more experimental artists since the arrival of Hepworth, Nicholson and Gabo in 1939. 

But the little harbour town also acts as a portal to the wider enchanting and mysterious Land’s End peninsula. David Whittaker, who has been exploring the region for four decades, portrays an assortment of colourful figures who were lured to the area, thereby having their lives and work enriched and transformed, including Bryan Wynter, Tony O’Malley, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Jeremy Le Grice, Breon O’Casey, Michael Canney (Curator of Newlyn Art Gallery), Michael Snow, Nancy Wynne-Jones and her husband, the Irish sculptor Conor Fallon; the Lamorna trio of reclusive eccentrics – Marlow Moss, Ithell Colquhoun and John Tunnard; and the poet Sydney Graham (recording his fruitful relationships with painters). David also tells the remarkable story of Rowena Cade and the origins of the Minack Theatre; and he contributes a tender account of the caring art of Roger Slack, GP to St Ives for nearly forty-years. 

Furthermore, there is a judiciously chosen miscellany of important writings by many of these artists not easily available elsewhere.

Peter Lanyon, a native of St Ives, is represented by a liberal selection of his own astute writings on the creative process, while his intrepid spirit pervades the entire book. 

As a photographer, David has developed an aficionado’s eye for rust, rocks, ruins and wrecks in the landscape and he provides us with a haunting medley of these images. In addition there is a valuable section on the meanings of many exotic Cornish place-names, which add to the distinctive character of the place.

St Ives Allure is a unique personal record of people and places, the result of David’s love and passion for the elemental land of Cornwall.


192 pages, illustrated throughout in colour – £20 + £3 pp (inland)

192 pages – illustrated throughout in colour. £20 + £3 pp (inland)


A delightful book. it has a great sense of feel & understanding for West Penwith. The piece on Sydney Graham is very insightful & I’m sure will help to keep the memory of the great poet alive. 

                                                                Brian Wall – Sculptor & former Professor of Art

                                                                                University of California


An excellent new book – full of good stuff: moving & interesting & great evocative photos.

                                                                   Mel Gooding – Art Critic & author


A totally delightful mixture of memories, people & places.

                                                                   The Cornishman


Informative & generously illustrated, St Ives Allure is excellent value & the perfect introduction for those wishing to know what the art scene in St Ives was like in the 1960s & ‘70s.

                                                                   St Ives Times & Echo    


David Whittaker writes fluently & cogently. His style is easy & his intelligence is both critically astute & humanly warm ... St Ives Allure is a very readable, fulfilling, revealing, gentlemanly & rewarding book ... David succeeds in introducing us & leaving a series of lasting impressions, a verbal exhibition – no mean feat.

                                                                    Western Morning News 


St Ives Allure is a thrill from front to back. The mix of views of West Penwith (up close, from afar, rusting & weathered, so, so good) setting the context for the experiencing of people & the Cornishness of places. It gets the whole book working like a Peter Lanyon painting & a Sydney Graham poem should.

                                                                   Martin Lanyon – Painter