FILM crews have been spotted in the Crackington Haven area recently, shooting for a film based on the life of the modernist sculptor, Barbara Hepworth.
On the evening of Wednesday, October 26, locals passing by noticed film crews in Tremoutha Haven, near Bude — filming for what seemed to be a new film, documentary or drama series.
However, it has been confirmed that the filming was for a short film based on the life of Yorkshire-born sculptor, Barbara Hepworth.
The film’s director, Alex Bailey, got in touch with the Post to confirm the details of this exciting new project.
Alex’s new film, named The Sculptress, tells the true story of the infamous Barbara Hepworth and her journey to becoming one of the most influential modern artists of her generation, fuelled by her relationship with her husband, the abstract artist Ben Nicholson.
Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, Barbara left her hometown to live in Cornwall with her husband, Ben Nicholson, and their family in 1939, where she began working at the Trewyn studios, creating sculptures out of stone and wood.
During the 1950s, Barbara began working with bronze, expanding her creative work on a bigger scale.
Barbara died in 1975. Much of her work now resides within the Tate archive, and the Trewyn studios were transformed into the Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives, commemorating her life and work.
The Sculptress is set in the dark days during the looming threat of the Second World War, and sees a talented group of actors and film makers bring Barbara Hepworth’s story to life, set amidst the irrational and rugged Cornish coast.
Alex said: “Barbara Hepworth was originally from Yorkshire. She evacuated to Cornwall during the start of the Second World War, and was completely inspired by her surroundings of the Cornish beaches and the coast.
“For us, it seemed that Crackington Haven was a very architectural beach, and would fit in well with our perception of Barbara Hepworth, who is played by Cassie Compton.
“We all had a wonderful time filming in Crackington Haven. We were blessed with lovely weather, and I don’t think there would be one person who would not think Crackington Haven is an enchanting and inspiring place.”
During their time in Crackington Haven, the film crew and cast were served food and refreshments by staff at the Coombe Barton Inn.
Alex continued: “After getting permission from Esther at St Gennys parish council, we began filming and were very well looked after by the Coombe Barton Inn. As we were based nearby, Coombe Barton provided a room for us and we had our technical set up there. They were really fantastic.
“As a local man myself — I come from Launceston and Tavistock way, but work in London a lot — I remember the Coombe Barton Inn and it was lovely. They were very accommodating for us and they were a great help to our cause.”
Having arrived in the early hours of the morning, members of staff at the Coombe Barton Inn were quick to make the crew feel welcome.
Dayana Reese, from the Coombe Barton Inn, said: “Alex Bailey did use our pub for a few hours while shooting some scenes on Crackington beach. They used a room for hair and makeup, and had breakfast and lunch here.
“They had very limited time to shoot on the beach, with the tide times and visitors. We didn’t interfere or ask questions, apart from if everything was alright from our side of things.”
Local lady Jane Anderson happened to be passing by on her way to a tennis match when she noticed the film crew. She approached an electrician for the crew, who spoke to her about their project.
Jane thought the prospect of a new film being set in the area was positive. She said: “I’m in great favour of film crews in Cornwall — they bring money to the region and the areas where they film and always have a positive effect on later visitor numbers. The more the merrier!”
Crackington Haven falls under the St Gennys parish, therefore any film crews are required to ask permission from St Gennys parish council before filming.
Jane added: “They always ask if it’s ok to film in the parish, and we’ve never denied them access. Some donate to our parish funds too, which is always welcome.”
After filming was complete in Crackington Haven, the film crew moved on to Bodmin Moor.
Alex added: “What we were doing was a narrative piece, so we had Cassie, who plays Barbara in the film, finding the landscape, going through the coastal paths and finishing with her looking back at the cove. We then continued on to Bodmin Moor, where there was a scene of her at a Bodmin tor.”
As confirmed by Alex, The Sculptress — after a year of filming and production — is expected to be available in the autumn of 2017, and it is hoped it will become internationally renown on its release.