Groundwork has four strands: a programme of international contemporary art opening in May 2018, a learning programme, field trips, and residential workshops.

Earth station satellite dish in the landscape

Goonhilly Earth Station, May 2017. Groundwork is commissioning new work by Semiconductor, working with Goonhilly Earth Station

Image: Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, Semiconductor, 2017

Artist speaking with curator Laura Smith

Manon de Boer speaking with Tate curator Laura Smith for a Q&A at CAST Film Club, September 2016. The Groundwork 2018 programme will present new work by Manon de Boer

Image: James Hankey, 2016

Artist pointing at a projection screen

Sean Lynch discusses his research during a day of Groundwork artists' presentations, Cornwall College, Keay Theatre, May 2017

Image: © Steve Tanner, 2017

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.

Students lying on the floor during a life drawing study

Participants emulating the life model's pose during a life drawing class with CAST artists and students of Helston Community College, led by Denzil Forrester and Phillippa Clayden, 6 June 2017

Image: Melanie Stidolph, 2017

Students discussing a drawing

Drawing workshop with Cornwall College students, led by Gemma Anderson, October 2016

Image: Melanie Stidolph, 2016

Students viewing an artist's studio

Students from Falmouth School of Art visit the studio of Ben Sanderson at CAST, May 2017


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.

Artists standing on a beach

Participants on a silent walk during a residential workshop led by Ruth Ewan in October 2016. The workshop focused on the development of artist-led field trips.

Image: Melanie Stidolph, 2016

Open air grass amphitheatre

Participants in a workshop led by Ruth Ewan visit Gwennap Pit, an open air amphitheatre near Redruth in Cornwall, October 2016

Image: Melanie Stidolph, 2016

People crossing a lane and walking into a field

Workshop participants walk the 'edge lands' of Helston, led by Paul Farley as part of The Cornwall Workshop 2016 with Ben Rivers

Image: Richard Broomhall, 2016


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.

People dressed in high visibility jackets looking into a china clay pit

Field trip to Blackpool China Clay Pit, led by cultural geographers Caitlin DeSilvey and Robyn Raxworthy, May 2017

Image: Josie Cockram, 2017

People standing on Par beach

Field trip to Par beach, led by botanist Colin French, October 2017

Image: Josie Cockram, 2017

People standing on a cliff edge

Participants take part in a Banishment ritual on the headland at Boscastle.

Image: Josie Cockram, 2017

Field Trips

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.


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