Groundwork has four strands: a programme of international contemporary art opening in May 2018, a learning programme, field trips, and residential workshops.
International Contemporary Art
The programme of international contemporary art will open in May 2018 and continue through the summer. Some works are specially commissioned for Groundwork and the programme will also include exceptional existing works by celebrated international artists, sited in non-gallery locations. The programme has an emphasis on moving image, sound and action and will provide opportunities to experience outstanding works of art that have particular relevance in the context of Cornwall’s social, industrial, scientific and cultural history.
The programme supports creative education for young people through collaborations with FE and HE institutions, especially Cornwall College, Falmouth University and Helston Community College. Groundwork provides opportunities for encounters with the work of internationally recognised artists, curators and producers – including explorations of place and a research-based and ideas-led approach to art practice – with particular initiatives tailored to the specific interests of the participating institutions. As the programme develops it will offer work experience and provide a volunteer programme, supported by training and social events.
Groundwork also offers professional development sessions for arts professionals in Cornwall, with talks and discussions led by visiting curators, producers, educators and arts professionals.
Ideas that are central to the Groundwork programme have been gathered through conversations with artists and curators at residential workshops held at Kestle Barton on the Lizard peninsula since 2011. Led by artists such as Mark Dion (2011), Simon Starling and Hamish Fulton (2013), Ben Rivers (March 2016) and Ruth Ewan (October 2016), some have been organised through an open call and selection, and some have been more informal – providing an arena for open discussion and development of ideas.
The Groundwork programme of workshops will conclude in October 2017 with a workshop led by artist Christina Mackie.
Field trips explore a particular terrain, history or set of ideas, bringing together participants from a range of disciplines. Field trips in 2016 included a perambulation of the ‘edge lands’ of Helston, led by film-maker Ben Rivers and poet Paul Farley, and an overnight walk across the Lizard peninsula on the summer solstice, led by artist Abigail Reynolds and historian Sir Ferrers Vyvyan.
Field trips in 2017 have explored locations in Clay Country near St Austell: a visit to the China Clay History Society archive with artist Richard Wentworth engaging in conversation with China Clay experts Ivor Bowditch and Derek Giles, a tour of the disused Blackpool pit led by cultural geographers Professor Caitlin DeSilvey and PhD student Robyn Raxworthy and a visit to Par beach, said to be most bio-diverse location in the whole of Cornwall, with botanist Colin French.