Mat McIvor

Introducing Mat McIvor artist in residence at Ben Tunnicliffe Sennen Cove

Mat McIvor is a local artist, illustrator, mural painter, poster designer and it is Mat’s artwork that surrounds our restaurant.

Mat’s colourful, cartoon-like paintings and prints brighten up the restaurant. The Play Eat Drink features are made on wooden canvases, and were the stimulus behind our character. A place where went want people to enjoy the stunning location, eat a variety of culinary delights and drink what they prefer to perfectly compliment the food.

Mat’s cartoon posters also surrounds the restaurant and they set the scene for our regular events. Whether it’s Sennen Sounds, Oyster Festival or Surf Competition each poster is bright and crafted with the finest detail.

Mat is an inspiration himself, he was born with buphthalmos and infantile glaucoma (diseases that usually occur in children which seriously impacts their eyesight). Mat had operations to save his sight when he was about 8 months old. The sight was saved in his left eye but not his right and is still blind in one eye.

Ben Cook – Littoral Drifter

We always look to support local artists here in Ben At Sennen and some of you may know Ben Cook as our congenial Surf Den barman, but in fact it’s Ben’s inspiring artwork that’s on show around the restaurant. 

Ben’s art looks at the world through the eyes of a surfer, by referencing beach culture and the material aesthetics associated with a contemporary surfing lifestyle. Ben styles himself a Littoral Drifter

Ben uses raw materials such as, polyurethane and fiberglass from the surf industry to fabricate his abstract paintings. Surf wax is used as a drawing tool, creating layers of textural surface reminiscent of granite that contrast with the highly polished, reflective monotone sections of the constructions.

Ben moved to Cornwall and Penzance nearly 15 years ago and his work is a reflection of the Cornish environment and culture. Prior to this Ben lived, worked and studied in Manchester and engaged with the textile industry and manufactured his ‘found paintings’ from the materials produced locally.  His move and the change in scenery stimulated a new outlook and became the inspiration for his work (and his determination to learn to surf before he was forty).

Now Ben, an accomplished surfer, tells us one of his favourite beaches is, “Godrevy in West Penwith. With the lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf’s modernist classic To The Lighthouse standing proudly opposite the pristine beach, which is usually not busy for an early morning surf, it’s definitely at the top of my list.” Ben also explains that his focus through his artwork is twofold “I want to look at surfing’s uneasy relationship with the environment,” he explains, “but also try to embed surfing in the aesthetic of classic modernist landscape art.”

Ben’s paintings and sculptures have an originality and freshness which transcend surfing.

Visitors to the restaurant can admire and enjoy Ben’s intriguing and enjoyable artwork.  His series ‘Surf Flowers’ is on show in the main dining room.

Follow Ben at his website or social media: