Find the Perfect Christmas Gift: Christmas Shopping with St Mawes Gallery

The countdown to Christmas has begun. The lights have been officially switched on. Those Christmas fairs and festivals are tailing off* and we are well into the season of Advent. All over the country, Christmas puddings have been made and set aside, mince pies are being baked and, in some homes, Christmas presents are already being wrapped.


If all that early preparation fills you with a quiet sense of alarm (perhaps you have barely begun your Christmas shopping, let alone wrapped a present), we just might be able to help.


From stocking stuffers to ‘the main event’, when it comes to Christmas giving, you might be surprised by what art can offer.


* On a side note, if you hope to catch a particularly Cornish Festival, your last chance for this year is Penzance’s Montol Festival. Held on the midwinter solstice, December 21st,  (Montol Eve), it celebrates one of Penzance’s most enduring and ancient traditions.  Preparations begin a few days beforehand with activities such as mask-making and Mummers plays. On the day of the solstice, people are asked to turn up dressed in black and wearing masks for the spectacular firelit parade through the streets. This culminates in the burning of ‘the Mock’, (the Cornish Yule log which bears the chalk figure of Father Time), to symbolise the dying of the old year.


The Special Gift


Everyone is inspired by something: sport, birds, animals, flowers, a particular type of architecture, a special beach or landscape or simply nature in general. And anything we can be inspired by has inspired artists to paint, or sculpt or otherwise capture its essential quality.


So what inspires the person you are buying for? Perhaps you know of more than one source of inspiration. One you have identified it - or them - it is just a matter of a little research. A quick internet search will provide the web addresses of all kinds of artists, and images of their work, who are inspired by the same subject.  (If an original is a little pricey, a numbered print is a special and still relatively exclusive item for a special gift.)


For lovers of Cornwall, St Mawes Gallery can offer a wonderful selection of paintings and sculptures that capture the scenery and the natural life of this special part of the world. And if you don’t happen to find the perfect gift while browsing our website, feel free to give us a call. We’ll be delighted to help you to find out if we happen to have that perfect gift in the gallery, to send images and, if you decide to buy, to help you take delivery of your chosen gift in time for Christmas.


Stocking Stuffers


There’s the obligatory orange, the chocolate, a silly game and perhaps some socks but what else can you do to make that stocking fun, different and memorable?


Try some of the gallery shops. Games, textiles, bags and clothing – or simply small and unique pieces of extremely affordable art are all on sale at galleries. We especially liked what’s on offer at the Tate Shop and the Manchester Art Gallery.


At the Tate, you can buy irreverant David (Hockney) and Sole-Adore Dali socks, Dali/Picasso salt and pepper pots, colour-in pencil cases, a Guerrilla Girls jig-saw (and a wonderful Guerrilla Girls ‘Dear Art Collector’ handkerchief!), strings of lights, scarves, ties, dolls and much more, all of it ‘arty, all a little bit different and a little bit special.


At the Manchester Art Gallery we loved the ‘Lovi’ range of slot ‘creations’. Wood, nature, craft (and Moomins), all words that you would associate with Nordic Design. Lovi have put all of them together to create their range of slot together creations. And they come flat packed so ideal for popping in the post as a gift!


Otherwise, all the major galleries have an online shop and all of them have well priced, individual items that someone you know might just love. And browsing from the comfort your own home certainly beats tramping the streets in the cold and through jostling crowds - especially when there is so much that is beautiful and appealing to look at!