Category: News (page 1 of 2)

The end of summer

As the summer draws towards a close so does the astounding Groundworks Art programme and the end of my time as a volunteer.

It was a sad moment for me as I have revelled in the opportunity to engage with this outstanding art programme of installation art. The gift of spending time immersed in the same space as such great pieces of art has been priceless. From Christina Mackie’s intriguing contemporary sculptural installation at Godolphin House, Helston. To the inspiring immersive films of Steve McQueen, Francis Alÿs & Laureana Toledo, and the highly emotive Forty-Part Motet by Janet Cardiff. I have loved them all.

 As an avid filmgoer and aspiring scriptwriter, I have been captured by the power of filmmaking as an artwork, enough to be inspired to dabble in the genre. But the biggest surprise to me was my response to the Janet Cardiff sound installation in the revitalised Richmond Chapel, Penzance. Not a religious person and definitely not a fan of 16th-century choral music, I found myself never tiring of the Thomas Tallis piece she had so cleverly manipulated. It wasn’t just me either. Time and time again local residents returned for their ‘daily fix’. Whilst visitors from further afield cajoled their nearest and dearest into experiencing the piece first hand. I did the same to mine too, and they loved it too.

Volunteering is such an uplifting way of lending your support to something you believe in. And the Groundwork Art programme message of ‘Art for All’ was definitely worth spreading. The opportunities the programme has presented for the general public to experience work of internationally recognised artists, curators and producers have been enthusiastically grabbed with both hands by everyone I met during my onsite sessions. And I sincerely hope there will be many more similar well-curated programmes, in such inspiring locations, to come in the future.

So I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the funding bodies who helped make this art programme possible and an even bigger THANK YOU to all the organisers, staff and fellow volunteers who gave up so much of their personal time and without whom this programme would not have succeeded and touched so many people’s lives.

 

Virginia Woolf – To the LIghthouse

Divine, is the only way to describe my total absorption into the world of Virginia Woolf recently.

Not only was I privileged to explore the recently opened Virginia Woolf inspired exhibition at the Tate St Ives on a personalised tour with director Anne Barlow. But I also spent a whole day at Porthmeor Studios with two renowned Virginia Woolf experts.

The intriguing new Woolf exhibition, housed in the new extension is inspired by her writing. It offers a narrative with a feminist perspective on landscape, domesticity and identity through modern and contemporary artwork. The exhibition includes some outstanding work by  Laura KnightGwen JohnVanessa BellWinifred NicholsonSandra BlowBarbara HepworthClaude Cahun and Dora Carrington.

Inspired by the premise of the exhibition I then joined a small group of twenty on a windy but bright study day, in St Ives. Sarah Phillips and Claire Nicholson, our Masters on Woolf for the day, bestowed on us a deeper insight into the Virginia life. Focussing particularly on her St Ives inspired novel To the Lighthouse, one of my particular favourites, the study day further opened my eyes to the influence of her childhood in Cornwall on her writing.  Symbolically the rare glorious sunshine illuminated the stunning seascape beyond the studio window’s, making it easy to understand how Woolf had been so taken with the landscape that surrounded her during her early years.

Claire Nicholson, is a specialist in Modernism, the history of women’s writing and Virginia Woolf who frequently lectures in Cambridge.  Sarah Phillips, who has made a career of studying the Bloomsbury art and literature has more recently focused her attention on Woolf as a Cubist Writer. Both knowledgeable speakers on all things Woolf, they are naturally also Executive members of the Virginia Woolf Society.

Unfortunately, I shall miss the Virginia Woolf: Art and Ideas conference, scheduled at the Tate St Ives on the weekend of the 2-4 March. Delivered by a huge collection of highly respected speakers and focusing on Landscape & Place, Performing Identity, Still Life, the Home & The Private Self, the conference will no doubt offer further in-depth insight into Woolf’s personal life and writing.

Cypher Exhibition – Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Like buses, private views seem to come all at the same time in Cornwall, so, unfortunately, I missed the opening night of the Cypher Exhibition. However, undeterred by yet another dull Sunday we ambled over to Mounts Bay to be greeted by some rare winter sunshine and bold colourful works of art.

Assembled from the work of the 2017 students on the year-long Professional Practice Course at the Newlyn School of Art, the ground floor exhibition at the Tremenheere Gallery showcases their finished artworks. Some take the form of installation art, others are drawings, paintings, photography and collaborative works.  However, the real treat can be found upstairs, where you are invited to flick through piles of sketchbooks and portfolios to admire all the contributory study which has produced such a variety of work.

An average of fifteen participants joins the Professional Practice mentoring course which runs twice a year. The unique programme aims to encourage artists to achieve a stronger sense of their own artistic voice and energise their artistic practice.

Tutored by some renowned artists within  Newlyn School of Art, students rub shoulders with professional artists who share their working practices and passion for art. Course Leaders Jesse Leroy Smith and Gareth Edwards, are amongst the staff who provide a high level of tutoring time to the students, which is reflected in their body of work.

The exhibition on runs until the 4th Feb, so catch it while you can if you are anywhere near the Penzance area.

 

Andrew Lanyon – Nature’s Laboratory: A Fantasy

Once again Falmouth Art Gallery has played host to an engaging exhibition which asks you to question and open your minds.

Nature’s Laboratory: A Fantasy, which will run until mid-March 2018 offers the visitor the chance to ‘immerse ourselves in the tale of Nature’.  Andrew Lanyon’s own work features in this thought-provoking exhibition along with a collective of Cornish artists.

I was lucky enough to attend a short talk by Andrew as the exhibition was being hung in the next gallery. He enlighted us in the processes which help him invent. The use of senses to invent a narrative, in particular, sounds to inspire lyrics.

Andrew Lanyon studied at the London School of Film Technique and spent several years as a freelance photographer. He ventured into book production to accompany his touring exhibitions, The Rooks of Trelawne and The Vanishing Cabinet.  

Andrew has also written highly acclaimed books on his father the painter Peter Lanyon, Alfred Wallis and other painters, sculptors, writers and poets.

Donna Haraway – Story Telling For Earthly Survival

Donna Haraway on a Thursday night, what a treat!

Organised by the MA Authorial Illustration course, and shown on the Woodlane Campus, Fabrizio Terranova’s portrait of Donna Haraway was enlightening and engaging.

Donna Haraway is renowned for her groundbreaking work in science, technology, gender and trans-species relationships. Her work spans four decades and resonates with a deep commitment to feminism and environmentalism.

Her work proposed many new ways of understanding our world that challenges normative structures and boundaries, refusing to distinguish between humans and animals and machines. As a result, her unique theories kicked off many debates in areas as diverse as primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology.

Donna Haraway’s most renowned work Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the 1980s, contributed greatly to feminist narratives of the twentieth century.

Fabrizio Terranova,  a filmmaker, activist and teacher in Brussels spent a few weeks filming Haraway in their Southern California home and the resulting film Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival is an appropriately eccentric response to a truly original thinker.

 

Kernewek for businesses – why it makes sense

I attended this skills day out of curiosity, with an ambition to incorporate Kernewek, the Cornish language, into my work as a writer.

Heavily biased towards promoting the use of this unique language through marketing of existing products and businesses, the session was informative and engaging.

St Austell Brewery, represented by Chris Knight, was the perfect case study to highlight how this Southwestern Brittonic Celtic language can be put to good use. A prime example is one of the breweries best-selling beers Korev, which means ‘Beer’ in Cornish.

Our professional guide for the morning was Mark Trevethan, the Cornish Language Lead at Cornwall Council, who further enlightened us to the possibilities of using Kernewek. He showcased innovative uses of the language from road signs to prime time TV advertising.

Closer to home, Mark opened the door to integration by gently guiding us towards the various resources on offer. More importantly, he highlighted that incorporation of the Cornish language into the marketing strategy of Cornish businesses, will also hopefully benefit the wider Cornish Language agenda.

This well-organised event was delivered by Cornwall 365 at the well known creative hub, Krowji, in partnership with Cultivator and supported by the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.

In Dark Places – the launch

Unfortunately, I was in Yorkshire and couldn’t attend the launch of the book I have recently project managed with Wyl Menmuir. The fireside event to publicise its release was hosted at the South West Outdoor Festival on September 9th. Reasonably well attended, the launch was a success and some of my team published a great write up of their weekend…

…A small group of students and tutors from Falmouth University headed for the rocky hills of Cheddar Gorge, to the South West Outdoor Festival, for the final push of a year-long publishing project in collaboration with Wyl Menmuir and The National Trust.

Our first task was setting up the banner for the book launch. A few giggles escaped our puzzled faces as we battled the raging wind, which threatened the stability of our tent. It took us a while, but with patience and strategically tied ropes, we finally secured the banner in place. Job done for the night, we snuggled up in our sleeping bags ready for the launch the following day.

After coffee and breakfast, and we were on the move, taking turns manning the book tent, spreading the word about our fireside ghost story reading that night, and worrying whether the rain would ruin our lovely evening or not. But the weather kept with us, and not long after seven, the fireside was packed.
Against a beautiful display of the sun seeping into the hills, Wyl read out an excerpt from  In Dark Places. Adults and children alike were drawn in by his lively reading, and the story came to life before our eyes, animating the flames.

by Holly Cara Farr and Adriana Ciontea

 

The final show – Authorial Practice

ART BLOG

Last night saw the end of the academic year for the MA Authorial Practice Students.

In a small gathering in Lamorva House, Falmouth we celebrated the ingenuity and creativity of this year’s graduates who have explored the medium of illustration to its fullest potential.Their work was inspiring and of outstanding quality, bordering on fine art with in-depth thinking and profound, explorative concepts.

It wasn’t any great surprise that the graduate’s work was so exceptional, as the course is ‘one of its kind’ run by dedicated staff, with an academic focus on personal origination in storytelling.

On paper, it sounds too good to be true. In reality, it seems to be delivering all it promises. I’m quite tempted to sign myself up!

Only 25 days until the official launch

The South West Outdoor Festival is just 25 days away, that’s less than 4 weeks until our little book is released into the public domain.

As the “first collaborative publishing venture of its kind” between the National Trust and Falmouth University, publishing best magazine The Bookseller has kick-started our latest publicity drive with a great write up of the joint venture.

Read the complete article for more information on this groundbreaking project…

The Nick Darke Awards

The Nick Darke Writers’ Award 2017 entries closed in late May this year, after which a group of staff and students was set the task of reading every one of the 950 scripts.

Ranging in length from 20 to 150 pages this was no mean feat. As one of the volunteer readers, I read over ten scripts in under a month, all of which varied enormously not only in length but in theme and quality too.The shortlist is announced on the 1st September and the winner is announced at an awards ceremony on the 11th November.

Established in 2006 the wards we created to celebrate the best writing for stage, screen and radio. Funded by Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, and the School of Writing & Journalism, The Nick Darke Writers’ Award commemorates the playwright Nick Darke who wrote in many forms but earned his living in the world of theatre, screen and radio.

Open to all national and international writers aged 16 or over, the £6,000 Award provides the time to write that financial support facilitates.