Groundwork volunteer Reuben Evans reports on September events and exhibitions
It’s the end of summer and with September nearly halfway through the Groundwork programme is well into it’s final month – it’s been a rewarding season of events and the access afforded to important contemporary art and artists has been invaluable to me personally as a student volunteer, but also I think really ‘done its job’ in democratising art for the community; as a local I feel the programming has engaged with the public and been sensitive to the many strands of cultural history particular to our shared home.
Cornwall has into antiquity been a duality of intense localism and equally keen internationalism, and it is not only here that the county seems uniquely suited to a festival like Groundwork; so rooted in place and response but with such a present theme of intersectionality with other places, other histories – that Cornwall’s past both industrial and otherwise has been quite so multifarious really works in the favour of such an inclusive series, providing a rich framework of enquiry with which to tackle the programming as a whole.
Not going gently, September’s line-up is packed; over the last fortnight I have helped out at artist and promoter Liam Jolly’s new project space, the eponymously named Auction House on Station Hill in Redruth. Auction House is presenting its first exhibition with Groundwork’s support – Where it is, there it is opened on 1st September with attendant celebrations at Charlie’s Bar featuring Hockeysmith, Hedluv + Passman, Wolf Note and DJ Swim on Bay Bliss. Where it is, there it is continues until 30 September, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 5pm.
The show is the result of a successful call-out to previous participants in the Cornwall Workshops, a series of artist-led residential events run by CAST and held since 2011 at Kestle Barton, and takes it’s name from a typically zen and dreckly phrase used by Cornish miners to describe the process of prospecting for tin. During a field trip with the mining historian Stephen Polglase as part of the 2017 Workshop the phrase was referred to, stuck with the group and became the foundation for this project.
The work is a disparate collection of ‘real-world’ objects and writings alongside physical, textual and film response to written stimuli, themselves verbal cues inspired by the same walk that delivered the title, that appreciated as a whole end up asking questions about the line between art and object, framing the process of discerning art as itself a form of dowsing.
Last Sunday brought a fresh collaboration between artist Naomi Frears and ubiquitous Cornish export and seasoned acid veteran Luke Vibert, debuting new music from the ‘Kerrier District’ star (his first using solely Cornish found sound) and providing a highly enjoyable and surreal morning for all involved.
All Going Nowhere Together, around 50 choreographed cars and 40 spectators, was conceived in response to a visiting German collectives’ brief, the reaction to which offered the artist a personal breakthrough after recent bereavement; the cars dance to simple instructions, receiving Vibert’s music via the medium of a local FM transmitter and creating a dispersed, 3d soundscape as counterpoint.
It was remarkable to watch and great to see such a big turnout – Naomi plans a video, featuring GoPro and drone footage from the event as well as the new material, so keep your eyes and ears out for that!
I’ve only touched on what’s on and there really is so much more to do this month than I’ve covered, including a ‘Midsummer Madness’ style brass band show with the audience in boats (at Tremayne Quay), Martin Creed playing Falmouth RFC, Rosanna Martin’s Brickworks at Falmouth estuary, talks, field trips and ongoing exhibitions elsewhere in Cornwall, and more. Information on all the previous shows can be found on the website and complete event listings for the rest of this month are on the Groundwork website: www.groundwork.art/programme. Come and join us!