Groundwork: Artists announced for a season of international contemporary art in Cornwall

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May – September 2018. Opening bank holiday weekend: 5 - 7 May 2018

Groundwork is pleased to announce a number of artists whose work will be presented in a season of exceptional international contemporary art in Cornwall, opening in May 2018. Celebrated artists include Francis Alÿs, Manon de Boer, Rosemary Lee, Christina Mackie, Sean Lynch, Steve McQueen, Steven Rowell and Semiconductor.

Organised by CAST (Cornubian Arts and Science Trust), Groundwork is conceived as an exploration of place as a terrain of past, present and future human activity. With an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, the programme will present new commissions and acclaimed works at locations across West Cornwall.

Supported by funding through Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, CAST has developed Groundwork in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives, as a three-year programme of collaboration between artists, arts organisations and science-based institutions in Cornwall and beyond. The season of exhibitions and events in 2018 has grown out of collaborations and partnerships with a host of artists, institutions, organisations, schools and colleges in Cornwall and will provide exceptional opportunities to enjoy outstanding work by artists of international renown.

A new film commission by Dutch artist Manon de Boer draws on her experience of attending master-classes at the International Music Seminar held annually at Prussia Cove; a moving image work by the Brighton-based artists Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) has grown out of their explorations of Goonhilly Earth Station on the Lizard peninsula and from meetings with the astronomers who plan to explore deep space using the old antennas on the site; and a new site-specific dance work by choreographer Rosemary Lee, developed in partnership with Dance Republic 2, will inhabit the expanse of Par beach, one of Cornwall’s most distinctive sites.

Groundwork will also present exceptional moving image works by Steve McQueen and Francis Alÿs presented in the CAST building, originally a Science and Art School; a sculptural installation by Christina Mackie in the King’s Room on the Godolphin Estate; Steven Rowell’s ongoing photographic investigation of trans-Atlantic telecommunications sites presented at the Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno; and a new film by Sean Lynch, partly inspired by recent visits to Cornwall.

Further artists and works will be announced early in 2018, including a programme of field trips, music, screenings, talks and readings, many in places usually closed to the public.

Groundwork aims to develop connections between the visual arts and other specialist fields and to build on strong working relationships with organisations in Cornwall. It is dedicated to encouraging national and international connection and exchange and has grown out of earlier projects in Cornwall exploring ideas of place, including The Falmouth Convention in 2010 and The Penzance Convention in 2012.

Informed by ongoing conversations with Cornwall’s exceptionally large community of artists, Groundwork also draws on the experience of the Cornwall Workshops held at Kestle Barton since 2011, led by artists Mark Dion, Hamish Fulton, Simon Starling, Ben Rivers, Ruth Ewan and Christina Mackie; artist-led field trips exploring particular themes and ideas; and CAST’s energetic public programme of screenings, talks, workshops and performances. These ongoing conversations foster links with Cornwall’s rich social, industrial, scientific and artistic history, as well as its contemporary cultural life.

For more information about Groundwork, and artists and locations so far announced, visit

Follow the project on Facebook and Twitter @groundworkart and on Instagram #groundworkart

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