Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer tells the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who at the age of thirteen lost her left arm in a horrific shark attack. Bethany has overcome her injury and today is a professional surfer and is sponsored by Rip Curl.

Soul Surfer Film Poster








Soul Surfer Premier
at Newquay’s Lighthouse Cinema.

There was a terrific atmosphere on the evening of the Soul
Surfer premier. The Lighthouse Cinema certainly ‘dressed for the occasion’ and
accessorised with a red carpet. Kola, a local band, welcomed visitors at the
cinema entrance and inside the lobby was adorned with surfboards and local surf
photography. All who attended were eagerly awaiting an appearance from Bethany
Hamilton and, in the meantime, busied themselves by enjoying the free wine and

Every screen in the cinema was showing Soul Surfer, which
indicates the volume of people who had booked to see the film. Once we were all
seated, Bethany Hamilton visited each screen room and gave a short speech, in
which she thanked Cornwall for such a great welcome and verified the
authenticity of the following film. The speech ended with a very sweet ‘SEE YA’
and Soul Surfer began.

Soul Surfer was produced by Disney, and it certainly is an
‘all-American movie’ with the merit of some impressive surfing scenes. However,
the film is not a ‘surf film’; rather it tells the story of an ordinary thirteen
year old girl with a bright future as a pro- surfer who suddenly finds that her
future has been ripped away from her as well as her ‘ordinariness’. Bethany
Hamilton miraculously survives a shark attack, in which she loses her left arm
and 60% of her blood. Soul Surfer focuses on conveying the trauma that Bethany
experienced and how she, with the help of her loving family and strong
religious faith, overcame her injury to become an internationally acclaimed
professional surfer.

Perhaps for some viewers the film can be criticised for
having a few ‘cheesy’ moments, nonetheless it does stay true to Beth’s
experiences.  Before the film commenced,
Bethany affirmed that Soul Surfer tells her story ‘in a really honest way’ and
that she was heavily involved on-set in the making of the film. Bethany’s story
is truly astounding and an inspiration to us all.

Red Carpet


Dare to Bare?

Dare to Bare? If not there is another way….

October is just around the corner and we are about to
face a long enduring winter. This is the season when we indulge in a diet of
comfort foods and our summer tans rapidly disappear. An abundance of mince pies
at Christmas, alongside a severe lack of sunshine makes winter a terrible
season for bikini bodies. If you, like many of us, feel self-conscious enough
to avoid trips to the pool in December, take heed because I have discovered the
perfect style solution. Swimming costumes are a great way to cover up white
tummies and keep wobbly bits inconspicuously tucked away. Last summer, surf
labels began creating some fantastic costumes in a variety of styles, from
classic to cut-out. Let’s hope they keep it up! Here are a few of my favourite
(Asos have a great selection of swimsuits!)

Asos Image. Insight Kyles Floral Deep V Swimsuit

Mambo Online Shop Image. Mambo Goddess One Piece

Asos Image. Insight Safari Hustler Deep V One Piece

Half the air in a given space.

'Half the air in a given space' Martin Creed at the Tate St.Ives

Over the past month I have freqently visited the current interactive exhibition at the Tate St.Ives created by Tuner Prize winner Martin Creed.  ‘Half the air in a given space’ is the title of the installation and it comprises of a large, art deco room which is filled with white balloons. Martin Creed decribes this piece as a measurment of air in a tangible form, as the balloons contain half of the air calculated to fit within the walls of the ‘given space’. The spectator is invited to delve into the balloon ball pool, an activity which is both disorientating and, of course, excellent fun! The exhibition provides a mixture of serious mathmatic measurement and humour; a dialectic which is characteristic of Creed’s playful approach to art. The ‘given space’ at the Tate St.Ives is a perfect location for this art piece, as the room looks out through celing-high bay windows on to the glorious Porthmeor Beach. The way in which shafts of sunlight beam through the balloons adds another dimension to the installation, making it beautiful. This creation encourages adults to be childish by providing an artistic justification for uninhibited playfulness. Thus, there is no threat of feeling self conscious about the immature impulses that the exhibition inspires.  As for children who visit the show, well they just go completely wild!

A fraction of 'the air' suspended in the air. View of Porthmeor beach through the long windows.

My 'childish' side coming out to play.

Lost in balloon town

Clare has also visited the exhibtion a number of times

Aruba Red visits the South West for a one-off performance.

Aruba Red Music - a delightful cocktail of sounds!

Aruba Red is an up
and coming female independent artist who’s soulful music has been described
across the board as ‘fresh, vibrant and electric’. Her music is the creative
product of a melting pot of different sounds: from electronic to acoustic,
reggae to dub and rebellious to soulful. Aruba Red likens her eclectic musical
style to a ‘gathering of treasures’, which are then shared with everyone. Her
feisty yet feminine demeanor makes for a fiery performance, and we folk in
Cornwall are lucky enough to experience the songstress in action as she is
scheduled to perform a one- off Cornish show this Saturday the 10th at the
Mount Pleasant Eco Barn. Cornwall’s Coolest caught up with Aruba Red before the
forthcoming show….

1. It has been a year
since your last Cornish tour, are you excited to return to the area?

although the acoustic tour was a year ago, I was a part of a great event called
Global Cornwall which was held at the Asylum, Kneehigh Theatre last month. It
was a wicked evening with some really amazing artists and speakers and being a
part of it definitely reminded me how much I love Cornwall… the vibe was great
and I can’t wait to get back on Saturday. I hoping for a really great crowd
that we can vibe with. It’s my very first headline show with my full band so
it’s gona be like history in the making!

2. What have been
your highlights over the past year?

I’ve been
really busy working on new material in the studio and a lot with be unveiled
soon. In terms of highlights, having my track ‘Light Up Light Up’ released by
TAD’s records in Jamaica and on iTunes was wicked, it has been featured on a
compilation album alongside artists like Sizla, Gregory Isaacs, Beenie Man, and
Movado so that was a really big deal for me. The album ‘Reggae Jammin Plus
Volume 2’ is available in stores in Jamaica and on iTunes worldwide:

Maverick Sabre at his debut headline show at London’s Jazz Café was a great
experience too, we work with some of the same musicans and it was great to
share the stage with him. Last month’s One Love Festival was also a massive

3. How would you say
your musical style has developed over the past 12 months?

definitely understand myself more, I understand what I want to do and how I
want to connect with people and this is coming through in the music. The new
project is a collection of some tracks people will be familiar with and them
some much more experimental, free-er sounds that delve more into my own
headspace, emotions and nocturnal aspects to my creativity. Things are getting
a little grittier, a bit dirtier, a little more reflective of who I am rather
than just who I want to be.

4. Previously you
described your music as influenced by politics but not directly political,
however, in the light of recent severe political unrest in England and overseas
have you become more inclined to write songs that do directly relate to such

exactly… obviously I’ve been observing and been a part of what’s been going on
like we all have but at the same time I absorb what’s going on globally and
something that is happening in another country can often influence me as much
as something that is happening outside my front door. One of the clashes
between young people and police kicked off right outside the studio I was
working in in Clapton, East London and I got caught in the middle of it. It
gave me a small taste of how a lot pf people are living all the time within
situations of conflict, which is important sometimes. You have to be careful to
not become too idealistic or talk about things that you don’t really understand
because you don’t have any direct experience. Things can be more real and
dramatic when it’s directly happening in your area but I think a lot more is
linked that we often realize… the unrest in a lot of places can ultimately lead
back to the same catalysts and negativity. The vibrations are everywhere and my
music will be a reflection of the vibrations I catch… or catch me… wherever
they may come from. I do think though that artists who speak about the unrest
all around the world are really important and we may be living in a time during
which this becomes more evident.

people play my tracks at a protest or demonstration or at a rave or in their
cars… it all makes me equally happy, as long as people can relate to the music.

One of the
relevant projects I am involved with is Jody McIntyre’s ‘Bar’s For Change’
project which you can check out here:

5. As we discovered
in your last interview with Cornwall’s Coolest, Aruba Red was the name of a
strong, rebellious female pirate. Are feminist issues, such as equality and
liberation, something that you wish to represent through your status as a
female musician?

and liberation for all people is something that motivates me, I am a big
supporter of many feminist issues but I try not to put divisions between
various injustices because we are weaker when we are divided. It’s important to
recognise what’s going on and which groups are being discriminated against and
to do what we can to highlight these issues and fight against them but at the
same time I don’t define myself primarily as a female musician… more just as a
musician. Aruba Red is me but she’s also my band, my alter ego, a way for me to
express myself… she is many things, some good, some bad. One day she might be a
rebellious freedom fighter and the next she wants to rob a bank.

6. I notice that you
have collaborated with numerous musicians and most recently with the Jamaican
superstar, Jah Cure, can you tell us what attracts you to this form of musical

are a hugely important part of what I do, everything I work on; even if I write
all the words and melodies, is a collaboration with someone, whether it’s the
musicians who play on the track, the producer, the engineer… everyone leaves
their mark and influence. The collaborating also goes beyond the music itself…
the photographers and video makers you work with, the graphic designers, the
promoters, everyone you work with has an influence on how people perceive your
music and who may come across it. The collaboration with Jah Cure came about
through a family link and it was a great experience. I hope to continue
collaborating and mixing what I do with many more inspirational people.

You can
check out the video for my collaboration here:

7. Previously you
stated that for you music is about bringing people together in a positive way,
do you feel that in collaborating with various artists you are promoting this

Yeah I
think so, it’s not always a conscious thought process though, sometimes you
just like someone’s vibe and energy and you think it would be cool to work on
something with them. Sometimes over thinking things isn’t good but if it feels
right and something musically positive comes out of the collaboration then I
definitely think that can have a ripple effect.

8. Apart from performing this Saturday the 10th at
Mount Pleasant Eco Barn, do you have any exciting plans for the near future?


I’ve been busy putting together a body of
tracks which I will be releasing later this Autumn / Winter, called ‘Demos in
Disguise’, this will be followed up with an official EP. I’m really looking
forward to putting new music out there. There is also talk of a really exciting
tour happening early 2012 which I can’t say too much about yet. In the meantime
I’m busy in the studio getting everything ready.

I’m looking forward to bringing the fire
this Saturday night at the Eco Barn in Porthtowan and hope to see the lively
Cornwall crew there! Tell your friends & get ready to party,


Much love,


Aruba x

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Aruba Red for taking the time to complete the interview, best of luck ARUBA RED! XX

Claire Armitage

Claire Armitage is a dress and costume designer from
Cornwall. After completing her degree in textiles at Goldsmiths in London, she
returned to her birthplace to take up her present post of lecturer in fashion
and textiles at Falmouth College of Art, where she is also completing her MA in
Textile Design.

Claire’s reputation as an original print and dress designer
is rapidly growing. Recently, she was awarded the Guild of Ten annual prize for
innovative design, which was presented to her at the Cornwall Design Fair held
at Trereife House.

Claire Armitage (left) recieving the Guild of Ten award for innovative design, presented by Guild of Ten member Corrine Carr (right)

Claire is continuously exploring new ways to create and use
print. Her intricate patterns and designs are realised through combining digital
and screen print processes to create a layering of colours and textures. Claire’s
garments are created from silk and fine cotton fabrics and finished with hand
embroidered details and antique buttons. Her dresses are made up of loose
shapes and simple structures, meaning that the design of the dress does not
conflict with the material’s detailed prints, allowing such prints to become
the main focus of the garment.


Claire Armitage's silk scarves


In her latest collection, The History Dress Collection, Claire has aimed to create garments that
bridge the gap between art installations and fashion pieces. Her patterns and
prints have been influenced by her research at the Helston Folk Museum and are
based on her illustrations of old Cornish landscapes, streets and people.
Claire also references folk lore, poetry and mystical figures in her print designs,
so that her garments can often be read like a narrative. In the History Collection,
Claire experiments with layering by printing a number of times on to the same
fabric and finishing outfits by placing dresses on top of one another. The
purpose of this is to symbolise years of history and the many layers of
narrative that have led to the formation of folk tales. For me, the layers of
fine silk fabrics also echo the ripples and movements of the sea.

A dress from the History Dress Collection

Claire’s prints and colour combinations are always subtle and
occasionally she includes a fleeting splash of brighter tones. Her use of soft
colours reinforces the notion that her dresses are inspired by recollections
of folk lore and traces of forgotten history. In the History Collection myths
are retold and refreshed by her stunning garments.

Claire Armitage's scarves with detailed print designs

Claire was one of the few artists at the Trereife House Design
Fair selected to exhibit artwork within the stately home as part of the curated
design section. Her dresses from the History Collection were superbly displayed
in the grand bedroom of the manor house. The faded antique interior of the
bedroom complemented Claire’s prints of images from Cornish history as well as
the vintage style of the dresses. The exhibition perfectly represented
Claire’s intention of creating garments that are both fashion items and art

The curated exhibition of Claire Armitage's History Dress Collection at the Trereife House Design Fair

Claire Armitage works from home and is available to create
commission pieces. Visit her website ‘’ to see
her collections and email ‘’ if you have any
further enquiries.

The only way to spend a Sunday

I awoke early last Sunday morning with a fuzzy and slightly aching head caused by the several glasses of vino verde that I had consumed the night before, and to my great surprise the sun was shining so intensely that it beamed like a laser through my curtains. Sublime weather certainly is not an everyday occurence for the inhabitants of Cornwall and, therefore, it should be worshiped and embraced! My eyes darted frantically around my bedroom in search for the clock, ‘Crickey’ I exclaimed ‘it’s 11am!’ I had no time to lose, so I grabbed my beach bag, sunnies, surfboard and fella and we headed to our favourite local beach. The rest of the day was bliss. I slept off my headache in the sunshine, we dined on fresh strawberries and performed acrobatics in the form of hand stands on the golden sand.

I wore my delightfully tribal-esq, cut-out swimming costume and a floral shirt dress- two items that are perfect for the beach because the prints are eye catching without being too dressy and the fabrics can endure a bit of wear and tear.

Gymnastic Fella

Gymnastic Goddess..I like to think!

Fashion Wave

(The following piece is a little study of a fashion trend, which I entered into a competition last May.)

From the Mountain and the Wave Quicksilver womens blog

The summer draws near and along with the sunshine comes its
key accessory: festivals! Now is the time for the outdoor girl’s moment of
glory. In 2010, designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler,
inspired by their childhood passions for surfing and skating, imbued their
collection with the essence of the unequivocally cool surfer girl.  Following this, their 2011 spring range has
been described across the board as a reflection of last summer’s surfer girl
who, one year on, has ‘grown up, got a job, but hasn’t lost her sense of cool’.
Alternatively, the development of this look could signify that the surfer girl
has decided it is time to establish her rightful place in fashion and is
frequenting the campaigns for this season. Gisele Bundchen plays a nonchalant surfer
girl for Isabel Marant. Céline has also opted to promote this
look for summer with model Daria Werbowy clutching a skateboard in a number of
their advertisements. It’s clear that the surfer girl is riding this season’s
fashion wave. Furthermore, she has begun to take matters into her own hands, combining
her cool essence with another summer trend, namely the Seventies bohemian. Quicksilver,
one of the surf industry’s leading labels, has advanced further into the
fashion world with the development of its recently launched Quicksilver Women’s
range. Quicksilver Women’s designer John Moore states that the 2011 summer
collection has been inspired by the ‘earliest pair of boardshorts in the Quicksilver
archives.’ Moore stresses that the ‘entire design team fell in
love with the spirit of this original boardshort’. The spirit of the past is
the key to this summer’s surf girl look. Quicksilver’s nostalgic summer
collection includes patchwork jeans, watercolour blouses and floral maxi
dresses. Stella McCartney has also fallen under the spell of nostalgia for the
bohemian Seventies, producing a collection of soft denim smock dresses. Loose
shapes and floral patterns are the two strong characteristics of the bohemian
look. So it is not recommended that you turn up to Bestival in a black bodycon
dress, but rather a pair of denim flares teamed with a floral blouse. Quicksilver
Women’s has launched a competition to run alongside their collection for this
season. Quicksilver customers are asked to send in accounts of their treasured holiday
experiences – the best tales will be published in a ‘Summer Stories’ book. The
competition itself is indicative of the Seventies bohemian inspired style; a
style that evokes the sense of the past while unconsciously raising our expectations
for the summer ahead. The key accessory of the ‘surfer girl goes bohemian’ look
is a great British festival by the seaside!

The 'oldest boardshorts in the Quicksilver archives', which inspired John Moore when he created the 2011 Quicksilver Womens Summer collection

The Masked Ball 2011. Somewhere on Cornwall’s South-Coast Cliff-tops.

Charmed at The Masked Ball

I love this event and have attended the Masked Ball since its inception four years ago. For each Ball I have designed and created a special head-dress. I have included pictures of my ‘Masked Ball’ headwear through the ages in the following article.

Saturday the 30th of April 2011 was much more
than a recovery period for the Royal family’s champagne hangover; it was time
for folk in South West Cornwall to celebrate a recently established tradition –
The Masked Ball. The rituals of this event comprise a large cross section of
the Cornish population donning elaborate headwear, lavishly applying body paint
and journeying along winding country roads to the South Coast cliffs of

For Cornish employers, the weekend of the Masked Ball must
be highlighted on the staff rota in red. This year, to avoid the inevitable
seven day period of bitter pleading with my boss, I booked off the dates of the
Ball two months in advance, leaving my fellow workmates to the begging and whining!  I planned ahead in order to avoid the
desperate measure that I adopted last year. In 2010, I pretended that I was
trapped in Thailand by the volcanic ash cloud (I wasn’t) and could only return
to England on the following Monday. I like my boss, but I like this event more
and if Cinderella got to go to the ball then so will I.

Hanging out with Bruce

Upon entering the sloping field that serves as a car park,
camping area and general social arena, you are greeted by a now familiar
trademark of the event: the ‘M A S K E D B A L L’ spelled out in big, white,
looming letters at the cliff edge. Having attended the event since its
inception four years ago, the sight of this trademark imbues me with a sense of
assurance: the night ahead is going to be nothing less than top notch.

The Masked Ball began with a huge, unexpected bang, quite
literally, as fireworks shot into the evening sky from a small boat that sat
undetected in the bay beneath the cliffs. Up till this point many revellers
still hadn’t left the camping field. The fireworks acted as an effective signal
that the headlining acts were about to play and the Ball was ready to launch
into action. The fireworks certainly alerted me to fact that I had been
drinking wine by the tents for nearly two hours, and in a flurry my friends and
I hurriedly bundled into the main marquis. This year many of the Dj’s on the
line- up were local. In the main tent Dj’s Timbo Symons and Louis J kept the
crowd going until 6am, whilst the SirVinyl crew took charge of proceedings for
the duration of the night in The Big Love Church. The local Dj’s certainly
performed as well as many of the international artists that have played at the
Masked Ball. The huge crowd still dancing at 6am serves as undeniable evidence
that our Cornish Dj’s can undoubtedly hold their own. Moreover, it is great to
see that local acts are becoming an integral part of an event that in the
future is sure to become nationally recognised.

Star Peacock Crown

The site layout of the Masked Ball always varies from year
to year and has grown increasingly adventurous. From the focal point of the
main tent, paths and tunnels shoot off in all directions, leading to numerous
locations and other smaller marquees. I particularity enjoyed watching my 6’4
companion clamber like a tipsy orang-utan up the long dragon’s mouth tunnel, which
led to The Big Love Church and funky Shroom Room.  The Masked Ball is lucky to have bagged and
retained one of the best possible venues in South West Cornwall. The event
organisers have put this space to good use by cleverly drawing attention to the
vivid contrast between the festival’s neon lighting and the natural scenery of
grassy paths, rough brambles and the back drop of the sea.

There is nothing more that I can say of the hours between 12
and 6am, except that the night was exuberant, joyful and as good spirited as
ever. These elements make the event a charmed and inclusive experience that
will live long in the memories of all those present. I finally fell asleep the following
afternoon with a wide grin across my face and a very satisfied pair of dancing
shoes under my bed.

Ben Howard. Lusty Glaze Gig Review

Despite a threatening sky and a forecast of heavy rain, the atmosphere at Newquay’s
Lusty Glaze beach venue was similar to that of a sunny afternoon festival. A
flock of woolly hats, bright hoodies and checked jackets sat huddled on a
patchwork of rugs all awaiting the headlining act- Ben Howard’s imminent
performance. As he stepped on to the small stage he was warmly greeted by the
crowd and instantly won his audience over by thanking them for venturing out on
such a cold, and soon to be wet, evening. As Ben Howard and his band launch
into their first track, I was immediately struck by his musical ability. His
hands swiftly moved across the guitar’s fret board, creating both the melody of
the song and a backdrop of intricate percussive rhythms. Fellow band mates,
India Bourne and Chris Bond, are also clearly musically adept, with both
playing a variety of instruments throughout the show

The band played with precision and passion, with the audience cheering
encouragement at every intro, bridge and outro. The vulnerability of Ben’s
slightly hunched stance was nothing short of adorable, and from the excited
woops from other females in the crowd it seemed that they also shared this
perception. Halfway through the gig he asked everyone to come forward and the
crowd instantly sprang to their feet and rushed to the stage, showing that he
had certainly captured his audience’s full attention. The crowd seemed to hang
on to his every word, and when Ben said ‘it’s great to be back in Cornwall’ a
young man shouted ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’, which was met accordingly with a very loud
‘Oi Oi Oi’!

Even though the weather was less than perfect, the stormy skies and sharp breeze
enhanced the darker folk aspects inherent in Ben Howard’s music. The beach
venue was the perfect arena for his nostalgic songs of surf trips, tender love
affairs and lessons learnt. Ben Howard and his band put on a fantastic show. The
sight of India bouncing around excitedly offstage and the huge grin across Ben’s
face suggests that they must have thought so too.