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Examples of Public Art in the South West: Cornwall


Bude Light Project (1999):

Link to larger image: The Bude Light, sculpture by Carole Vincent and Anthony Farnshawe, 1999. Bude, Cornwall.Photo: Robin Mudge.

The "Bude Light", commissioned by Bude-Stratton Town Council and designed by Carole Vincent and Anthony Fanshawe, marked the Millenniumin Bude and celebrated Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, an 18th century inventorwho lived in Bude Castle. It was the first large-scale public sculptureto use colour concrete with fibre optic lighting. North Cornwall Arts managed the commissioning of the artists and the associated educationand community participatory programme.

A-level students from Budehaven Community School were treated to workshops in Carole's own studio and Carole set up a studio at Bude Junior School for 2 weeks where children from local primary schools spent time making mini Bude Lights.

Contact: Sue Richardson, Arts Development Director, North Cornwall Arts, College Road, Camelford, Cornwall PL32 9TL.


St Nazaire War  Memorial, Falmouth

St Nazaire War Memorial, Falmouth. Photo: MorSt Nazaire War Memorial, Falmouth. Photo: MorSt Nazaire War Memorial, Falmouth. Photo: Mor

Falmouth-based landscape architecture and public art studio, Mor has designed and constructed the new St Nazaire war memorial in Falmouth.

Mor undertook extensive research into the St Nazaire raid before developing the design, which aims not only to enhance the existing memorial but also to increase visitors’ understanding of the event itself. Those taking part set off from Falmouth in March 1942 with the aim of destroying St Nazaire dock and preventing the Tirpitz, the Germans’ largest and most powerful warship, from putting to sea and destroying Allied shipping.

Seven white concrete oval plinths draw the eye towards the stone memorial and on each plinth are quotes about the raid.  They include one from Lt Colonel A C Newman, posthumously awarded the VC, who said:  ‘Well chaps, we’ve missed the boat home.  We’ll have to walk’ and another by Eric de la Torre, MBE, of 3 Commando, who provided a powerful image of the raid in these words:  ‘Lieutenant Hills is lying across the carley float, unconscious, dying of his wounds.  We desperately steer the float between the lakes of burning fuel.  Shells are hitting the water.  Corporal Brown, wounded, is hanging onto me. A German searchlight is tracking us.’

In addition to the plinths, five small crosses have been inlaid flush with the finished ground surface, representing the five Victoria Crosses that were won.

Contact: Phil Wyatt, Spatial Designer, Mor, Falmouth Ambulance Building, Quarry Hill, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 2BP, UK

Tel: 01326 211988 Email: [email protected]



Liveability (2005):

Link to larger image: Design for play planting by Heidi Dorschler. Liveability Project, Helston.

Artist Heidi Dorschler worked in Helstonon this programme which aims to improve open spaces, with artists'workshops, display and performance areas and quality and safe playand participation space. Contact: Sarah Williams, Liveability Officer,Community and Design

Tel: 01209 614480 Email: [email protected]



Tremough Campus, Penryn (2004):

Three artists have been commissionedas part of Phase I of the redevelopment of the site for the 'hub' ofthe new Combined Universities of Cornwall initiative (CUC). Glass artistKathryn Hodgkinson will create an artwork along the 65m long glasswall adjacent to the central courtyard. Michael Trainor's animatedsculptural works, "Power Plants", using renewable energy sources, are also in the courtyard. Lulu Quinn's work, "Turbulence" isa series of interactive light sculptures based on helical structuressurrounding the flues venting the building.

Contact: Eric Spiller, Vice Principal, Falmouth College.

Tel: 01326 370423 Email: [email protected]


Penzance Passenger Transport Interchange (2003):

Link to larger image: Pavement design by Gordon Young, 2003. Penzance Passenger Interchange. Link to larger image: Station signs by David Kemp, 2003. Penzance Passenger Transport Interchange.

David Kemp and Gordon Young worked on the concepts of arrival and departure at the end of the line.

Contact: Rose Barnecut, Arts & Culture Officer, Penwith District Council.

Tel: 01736 336797 Email: [email protected]

Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery (2007)

Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, 2007.Photograph: Peter Freeman Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, 2007.Photograph: Peter Freeman. Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, 2007.Photograph: Peter Freeman. Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, 2007.Photograph: Peter Freeman. Lightwave by Peter Freeman; The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, 2007.Photograph: Peter Freeman.

The Exchange is the new Arts Council funded contemporary art gallery, cafe and education space in Penzance, West Cornwall. It was the former telephone exchange and has been transformed by MUMA architects into an inspirational gallery space.

Peter Freeman was commissioned by the Newlyn gallery to develop the 55 metre glass façade into an interactive light work.

Heenvisaged the façade as a continuous transparent canvas and saw his work as creating an interactive fresco of light that would articulate the architectural façade and act as a sign for the new gallery.

Inspired by the colours of the sea and sky around the Penwith peninsula the light work uses high powered LEDs to illuminate the 55metre glass facade with waves of soft diffused blues and greens creating a mural of light. The installation is interactive, changing colour and sending pulses of light triggered by the people and environment around the gallery.

Lightwave's barometric sensor triggers different patterns of light dependent on the atmospheric pressure with a special animation for extreme weather conditions. The motion sensors respond to people walking past the gallery and send pulses of light down the length of the gallery.

There are 150 arrays of blue, green and white high-powered LEDs one between each fin. The space between each fin acts like a light pipe, and the light is bounced up and down creating a sumptuous glow.

Contact: Peter Freeman; Tel: 01736 796941; Email: [email protected]

St Austell

Eden Project (ongoing):

A vast number of artists from many different media have been commissioned to tell the plant stories at the Eden Project. They include sculptors, automata makers, musicians, performers, painters, mosaic artists, weavers, dancers, stone-carvers, cartoonists. Many of the artists are locally-based, although most exhibit nationally and internationally and works are both permanent and ephemeral. Angus Watts creates new flags for Eden each season.

Artists who have worked on exhibits include:

Pete Hill and Kate Munro (2003) worked with other teams on redesigning the Myth exhibit, including the centrepiece, a pavilion enclosing a maze; Angela Easterling is working on an Art/Science exhibit exploring plant structures and leaf adaptation; Sue Hill with Pete Hill created a green woman, 'Eve', made from grass, which is set into the bank above the willow dome in the Myth and Folklore area; Elaine M Goodwin's mosaic path leads the visitor through the Mediterranean exhibit; Peter Randall-Page worked with the design team on the concept and design of the new education centre, The Core, and is making a massive Cornish granite sculpture for its centre, based on the same spiral phyllotaxis as the roof structure; Alan Clarke illustrated signage in the Cotton Exhibit in the Warm Temperate Zone; Keith Newstead's automaton, 'The Olive Peddler', tells the story of the olive its uses; and Debbie Prosser used Cornish raw materials to make olive oil vats.

The Visitor Centre includes automata and installations by Will Jackson with Paul Spooner and Tim Hunkin, a horse by Heather Jansch and works by Felix Packer, Shaun Stanford, Toby Roskilly, Scott Woyka, Alex Munden, Samantha Sand Holmes and Bill Scott; Oliver Langham's installation of kinetic aeroplanes and insects in the café lead to renaming it Zzub Zzub. Ley Honor Roberts designed produce for the Eden Shop, and films by Bill Scott are shown in the ticketing hall.

Throughout the site, there are a large number of works: Jack Everett's leaf inspired buildings including the Tea House; George Fairhurst's hemp fence; Brad Dillon's metal fence for sweet peas; A gateway of totem poles into the Africa area by El Anatsui; Mechanical sunflowers and sun by Mike Chaikin (2003); 'The Throne' by Paul Anderson; Planters cast from the hands and arms of the gardeners at Eden by Bill Wroath (2003); 'The Rites of Dionysus' by Tim Shaw; David Kemp's plants reflecting on our use of fossil fuels and his Tropics Trader installation; the Spice Boat in the Humid Tropics Biome by Bill Mitchell with Dave Mynne; Transparent and reflective sculptures by Tim Maslen and Jennifer Mehra; The Wild Cornwall area, with Chris Drury's cloud chamber, and carved stone panels by Sarah Stewart-Smith; 'Pollination', a large bee by Robert Bradford. There are also drawings by Christopher Cook and a painting by Anthony Frost and the 'Seed' installation by Peter Randall-Page (2007).

Temporary works include sculpture using cropped materials by Serena de la Hey (2003); Willow works by Geraldine Jones (2001): Works using natural materials in the trees on the Sustrans cycle route into Eden by Steve Bradburn & Indigo Arts : The Temporary Contemporary project in 2004 with talking benches by Mil Stricevic and works by Hayley Newman, Jordan Baseman, Jeremy Deller and Mel Jackson; and an animated lantern ship by Bill Wynter.

Contact: Sue Hill, Artistic Director.

Tel: 01726 811911 Email: [email protected]


St Ives

Tate St Ives (1993):

coloured glass window by Patrick Heron, installed to mark the opening of the Gallery in 1993 and thought to be the largest unleaded coloured glass window in the world. Also a programme of contemporary artists' projects for public spaces is run throughout the year. Past artists have included Alison Wilding, Terry Frost, Peter Randall Page, John Aiken and Paul Mason.

Contact: Press Officer, Tate St Ives, Portmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall , TR26 1TG.

Tel: 01736 791121

Saltash, Caradon District Council

Saltmill Park (2001):

Link to larger image: Eternal Parents, sculpture by Steve Geliot, 2001.Saltmill Park, Saltash, Cornwall. Link to larger image: Wave, sculpture by Sophie King, 2001. Saltmill Park, Saltash, Cornwall.

A partnership between Groundwork South West and Caradon District Council led to this former landfill tip undergoing extensive re-engineering and landscape work, to create a free public facility with site-specific artworks integrated into the landscape, as well as skateboarding and other sports facilities. The commissions programme was led by artist Steve Geliot working with project partners and community representatives. The site includes a major sculpture by the lead artist, a series of carved texts by Andrew Whittle working with Bob Devereux, railings and gates by Noel Perkins and Bill Wroath, a sculpture in aluminium and glass by Sophy King, and an environmental work by Michael Fairfax.

Contact: Stephanie Thomas, Recreation Development Officer, Caradon District Council.

Tel: 01579 341055 Email: [email protected]

Sustrans: Art & the Travelling Landscape

 The National Cycle Network created by Sustransis not only an intricate web of alternative transportarteries, it is also the longest outdoor gallery in the world. Interspersed alongthe 10,000 miles of cyclepaths are over a thousand sculptures and otherpublic works of art. Sites are free and open to all.

See details of Sustrans artworks on the Clay Trails; the three cycle routes running from Bugle, Wheal Martyn and Par Beachto the Eden project.

Further information about Sustrans:


Living Legends Project (2004 - 2006):

Tintagel communication cone (detail), 2005, Tintagel Primary School. Artist and photographer, Michael Fairfax. Wall of words (detail), Trevena Square, Tintagel, 2005. Words: Amanda White; Artist and photographer, Michael Fairfax. Detail in Trevena Square, Tintagel, 2005: Wall of words. Words: Amanda White; Seat designed by Michael Fairfax and fabricated in oak by Alistair Guy; granite, De Lank Quarry; slate, Costains. Artist and photographer, Michael Fairfax.

The Tintagel Regeneration Scheme was a response to the decline of the character and economies of the village. Lead artist Michael Fairfax working with writer in residence Amanda White lead community walks, schools and family workshops to ensure local input into the design of the new Trevena Square. It includes slate paving based on an ancient game called Nine Men's Morris, seating, a listening post connected to a sound cairn, and a wall of words which links with the Touchstones sited along the new circular Tintagel trail. Local craftspeople were involved in building the seating and sound cairn.

Contact: Michael Fairfax; Email: [email protected]

For further information email: [email protected]

© Public Art South West, October 2007