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10 April 2018

Guest Blog - Groundwork

Introducing Groundwork: A season of international contemporary art in Cornwall

Cornwall may be known for mining, fishing and farming… but what about contemporary art? Many forget that Cornwall is a county steeped in art history, with world-renowned artists, including Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Ben Nicholson and even Francis Bacon all flocking to Cornwall during the 20th century to be immersed and inspired by this county’s picturesque landscape. This May, CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust), based in Helston, is set to add to Cornwall’s creative oeuvre as they launch Groundwork, a season of international contemporary art across South West Cornwall.

With a focus on place and an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, Groundwork will open this May bank holiday (5-7) and run until September 2018. Organised by CAST, the programme will present exhibitions of new commissions, together with existing works by internationally acclaimed artists, and one-off events in unusual locations across South West Cornwall.

Groundwork will provide experiences and events ranging from the intimate to the spectacular. Highlights include:

CAST, 5 May - 3 June

Turner Prize and Oscar winner Steve McQueen’s film 'Gravesend', exploring the mining of coltan, the mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops, will be shown in a specially constructed black box projection space at CAST, with 'Unexploded', made by McQueen when he was sent to Iraq as a war artist and filmed – from multiple perspectives – a crater left by an unexploded bomb in a building in Basra.

Goonhilly Earth Station, 5 May - 3 June

Artist duo Semiconductor are making a new moving image work for Groundwork. 'As the World Turns' questions how we experience nature through the language of science and technology, combining video footage filmed at Goonhilly Earth Station with scientific data acquired through the process of radio astronomy.

National Trust's Godolphin Estate, 5 May - 24 June

Christina Mackie's 'The Judges II', an installation inspired by the rock formations of New South Wales and by ideas of geological, mythical and personal time, will be presented in the Kings Room at National Trust Godolphin.

Kestle Barton, 5 May - 8 July

Manon de Boer's new moving image commission 'Bella, Maia and Nick (From nothing to something to something else, Part I)', will be presented in the gallery at Kestle Barton. Filmed at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, the work portrays three local music students experimenting with new sounds and rhythms, continuing de Boer's fascination with the importance of 'open time' in providing the conditions for creation.

A number of special one-off events will also take place over the opening weekend. You can find more information about these and about exhibitions throughout the summer on the Groundwork website.

CAST will be the hub for Groundwork activity and CAST Café will be open for extended hours over the opening weekend and throughout the programme.

Groundwork is organised by CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust), in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives.