The 2020 Whitegold Festival was this year held entirely online as a live streaming via the website, Facebook and Instagram, from 11am – 8pm on the 19th September with a specially curated collection of content was available online, and for free!
The programme included virtual art exhibitions, talks, workshops, interactive activities, roundtable discussions and short films.
See the full listings below.
WE ARE ST AUSTELL
Short film (10m15s)
Now two years on from the first public workshops at Whitegold Festival in 2018, this short film is made as nearly 11,000 handmade tiles for the first public art commission for St Austell, the Cornish Honey Bee mural, are finally applied to the wall overlooking Biddick’s court.
A message from The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall: Edward Bolitho OBE on its completion, with SABEF’s chair James Staughton and the artists and volunteers who worked with the community to bring the Cornish Honey Bee into being, and talk about the importance of The Austell Project for the town and for Cornwall. Find out more here
CORNISH HONEY BEE MURAL
Short film (5m39s)
This short film made for Window into Whitegold tells the story behind the Cornish Honey Bee Mural.
Brainchild of Parasite Ceramics, this tiled mural is one of the first public art commissions for St Austell and has been hand made by local residents of St Austell, artists, makers and even one printed by HRH Prince Charles. Find out more here
Short film (4m50s)
A community engagement initiative established at Imerys’ Blackpool Pit, Brickfield reconnects people with clay via brick making workshops and fieldtrip tours. This short film gives a flavour of Brickfield in process.
Head over to @__brickfield__ to see the latest images and video clips of kiln building, brickmaking and firing created by the Brickfield team including lead artist Rosanna Martin, Whitegold Curator Katie Bunnell and new members, Zenna Tagney and Bobi McFazdean. The Insta feed shows a community brickworks in the making from the ground up. See how they have collected and mixed clay, made bricks and follow the progress of the kiln firing as it happens in conjunction with the Virtual Festival. There are some special insights from former clay country brickmaker, John Osborne, who brings his expert skills and real regional knowledge to the project. Find out more here
CERAMICS IN PUBLIC PLACES
Recorded round table discussion (41m06s)
Meet artists Sandy Brown, Marion Brandis and Susan Elliott in this round table discussion hosted by Whitegold Curator, Alex Murdin. All three artists are making soon to be installed ceramic public art works for St Austell, which they introduce to each other in conversation. The discussion also explores the value of introducing art into public spaces and what contribution ceramic art can make in expressing our connection to local people, the landscape, and of course the of china clay. Find out more here
AN INTERVIEW WITH 2019 INTERNATIONAL PRIZE WINNER, TANA WEST
Short film (7m54s)
Winner of the Whitegold Prize 2019 Feldspar Award, Tana West opens the doors to her studio to Window into Whitegold for us to make this short film.
Tana has also prepared a 20 minute presentation about her work in progress for a new artwork for St Austell, released later in the day. Find out more here
A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY: BUILDING PRIDE THROUGH CULTURE
Recorded round table discussion (31m10s)
Rooted in our communities, shaped by our landscape, we want to make St Austell a better place, socially, economically and environmentally. Michael Hawes from MeiLoci Landscape Architects, landscape designer Darren Hawkes and curator Alex Murdin talk about a helping people in St Austell to create their own unique sense of place through the work of the Austell Project. They talk about two key themes rooted in the fabric of St Austell’s heritage – horticulture and clay, which are intertwined in the ambitious long term plan which has been created by the communities of St Austell over the past few years. Find out more here
TEA LEAF READING WORKSHOPS WITH SIMON BAYLISS AND MC TEABAG
Workshop 1 of 3 (1hr)
Join Westcountry artist duo Simon Bayliss and MC Teabag for a beginner’s guide to the art of tea leaf reading.
In a relaxed one hour experience, we will explore how this ancient practice can prompt us to find answers to questions big and small.
Different from fortune telling, this beginner level workshop will help you gently explore images relating to your psyche, and bring clarity to your queries.
Bring a cup or mug that means something to you, tea of your choice (a teabag is fine), a teaspoon, pen and paper, and a spirit of curiosity!
SIMON BAYLISS: A MAKER MAKES
Short film (2m35s)
Based in St Ives, the home of Cornwall’s famous Bernard Leach pottery, Simon Bayliss is an artist and dance music producer working in slipware ceramics, video, poetry, watercolour painting and performance.
This short film produced by Simon shows us his process in creating a ceramic artwork For St Austell. Bringing the Leach legacy up to date he describes the motifed tiles he’s designed as “iconographic representations of St Austell and Cornwall which can be compared to the modern day use of emojis”. Find out more here
INTRODUCING SIMON BAYLISS AND MC TEABAG TEA LEAVES WORKSHOP
Recorded interview (14m)
In this recorded conversation, Simon Bayliss and Tom Stockley (AKA MC Teabag) answer questions about their collaborative relationship in making events influenced by their work in ceramics, poetry, performance art, music and their combined interest in rave and clubbing culture. They describe the workshop experience on offer during Window into Whitegold and what people who sign up might expect. Sessions are available at 1:00, 2:15 and 3:30 follow the link for bookings: https://virtualtealeafreadings.eventbrite.co.uk
Tom’s character ‘MC Teabag’ also makes an appearance, and invites everyone following Window into Whitegold and Digital Digging to instagram a picture of your cup of tea to @MC_Teabag for a quick fire reading of what your future might hold (disclaimer: may be whimsical). Find out more here
Short film (2m46s)
Designer-architects Charlotte Moore and Maria Saeki from STUDIO.HOTmess share their plans and production for the first prototype tile intended to form part of a proposed ceramic tiled façade for a café on St Austell’s Fore Street designed to be able to support plant life, particularly local edible plants from the clay country.
See the HOTmesses call for recipes and common foraging plants on Instagram and Facebook as they begin to develop a foraging recipe book for the area. Find out more here
TEA LEAF READING WORKSHOPS WITH SIMON BAYLISS AND MC TEABAG
Workshop 2 of 3 (1hr)
The second opportunity to join Westcountry artist duo Simon Bayliss and MC Teabag for a beginner’s guide to the art of tea leaf reading. Find out more here
DAVID MACH’S EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Short film (9m52s)
Join artist David Mach in his studio for an introduction to an exciting new piece of public art he is making for St Austell and how you can be part of it.
‘Earthly Delights’ is designed to be a 19 metre long collage of ceramic memories from St Austell and across the world. Anyone and everyone is invited to submit a fragment of ceramic to the project between now and the end of 2020. Mach will show you what donations he is looking for a why, and will tell you how the hundreds of broken fragments submitted, be they broken pieces of vase, parts of teapots, segments of teacups, plates, saucers, will be used in the final artwork. Find out more here
LUCKTAYLOR CERAMICS: A MAKER MAKES
Short film (9m54s)
One of our ‘Virtual Craft Fair’ stall holders, Catherine Lucktaylor make one of her exquisitely crafted Wild Cornwall Raku Pots in this narrated short film.
A piece from Catherine’s best-selling Wild Cornwall Collection was featured on the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throwdown and described as a ‘perfect example of Raku’.
Head over to the the virtual ceramic craft fair pages of our website to learn more about Lucktaylor Ceramics and have a look at the virtual pitches from a select group of highly skilled makers. Have a browse through their online shops and be inspired to make a ceramic purchase today! Find out more here
CULTURALLY CURIOUS: ACTIVE COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN HERITAGE AND THE ARTS
Recorded round table discussion (40m31s)
Whitegold Curator Katie Bunnell and Festival Producer Cat Radford co-host a discussion between Whitegold Prize winner Neil Brownsword and Suzie West, director of SpinDrift Dance Collective with Jo Moore and Gemma Martin from Wheal Martyn Clay Works; the UK’s only china clay museum and now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
During the session panellists discuss their experiences of collaboration between heritage sites, collections and the arts from their perspectives as makers and curators; how they reveal the stories uncovered and create engaging visitor experiences for the culturally curious. The panellists also share more about the exhibitions and performances taking place at Wheal Martyn and online at Window into Whitegold this September and how people can get involved. Find out more here
TEA LEAF READING WORKSHOPS WITH SIMON BAYLISS AND MC TEABAG
Workshop 3 of 3 (1hr)
The final opportunity to join Westcountry artist duo Simon Bayliss and MC Teabag for a beginner’s guide to the art of tea leaf reading. Find out more here
BOTANY AND BEYOND: CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ST AUSTELL’S BIODIVERSITY AND THE HISTORIC CLAY INDUSTRY
Recorded conversation (19m10s)
When artist Robin Sullivan read that the 1km grid reference SX0753 that include the clay tanks at Par Moor Road, Carlyon is the most biodiverse area in the whole of Cornwall he just had to know more.
Robin’s research has led him to find out about increases in plant migration since global trading, how plants ‘hitchhiked’ with china clay trading ships and found an oasis to root within the industrial waste yet many of them disappeared a short while later.
In this conversation with Festival Producer Cat Radford, Robin draws parallels between his research, the politics of the terms ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ now and through history, and how he anticipates he will respond to these questions through his artwork.
We look forward to Robin sharing some of his findings with us and members of St Austell at the 2021 Green and Whitegold Festival where he’ll be offering a ‘hands on’ workshop imprinting plants in clay tiles. Find out more here
AN INTERVIEW WITH 2019 INTERNATIONAL PRIZE WINNER, NEIL BROWNSWORD
Short film (14m37s)
This August, renowned artist and winner of 2019 Whitegold Prize Quartz Award, Neil Brownsword, has installed new artworks for St Austell at White River Place and Wheal Martyn Clay Works. This short film shows him at work installing the pieces whilst talking about what inspires his process and what he hopes his work shares with the people of St Austell who experience it. Find out more here
PAUL JACKSON AT HELLAND BRIDGE: A MAKER MAKES
Short film (20m07s)
One of the leading lights in setting up the Whitegold Project, Paul Jackson has agreed to record his process in the making of a new set of ceramic planters commissioned for St Austell’s historic Market House, currently undergoing renovation.
An established and active presence in the Cornish ceramic scene, Paul has been using local materials in stoneware and porcelain, in a salt glaze kiln at his Helland Bridge pottery for over 30 years. It is here that he is forming the Market House planters using huge moulds built by Brickfield’s resident expert, John Osborne. Find out more here
IMERYS: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
Short film (2m51s)
The world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry, Imerys delivers solutions (including China Clay from Mid Cornwall) to a great number of sectors from processing industries to consumer goods and building products.
Extracts from a short film produced by Imerys show how the company treat the economics of their business hand in hand with their responsibilities for the landscape. Find out more here
WHITEGOLD PRIZE PLANS FOR 2020/21 AND REFLECTIONS ON MAKING SOCIALLY ENGAGED ARTS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Recorded round table discussion (44m47s)
In January 2020 the Whitegold Project released the names of the artists shortlisted for the Whitegold Prize and the process to research and propose projects with St Austell communities around the theme ‘Convivial Clay’ began. Little did we know that we’d soon be entering a period of lockdown in response to global pandemic and our artists, expert in managing projects that engage groups of people in communal creative activities, would have to find alternative ways of working in physically distant yet socially connected ways.
For ‘Window into Whitegold’ Curator Katie Bunnell and Festival Producer Cat Radford co-host a round table discussion with Clayground Collective, The Portland Inn Project and Rochester Square inviting the artists to share their plans for the Whitegold Prize 2020 and how they expect them to unfold. We will also use the time we have with the artists to reflect on the strategies they have used elsewhere to keep their work with people active during lockdown and the how the pandemic has brought into relief what is important to them about working in, and with, communities. Find out more here
FELDSPAR PRIZE WINNER TANA WEST: A PRESENTATION OF WORK IN PROGRESS
Recorded presentation (17m11s)
Tana West, winner of the Whitegold 2019 Feldpsar Prize presents work in progress in the creation of her 3m diameter panorama if St Austell clay country, made up of 15 ceramic panels.
Inspired by wallpaper depicting the Bay of Naples that hung in the White Hart Hotel in St Austell when it opened in 1822, Tana is interested in drawing on St Austell’s rich vein of interactions between the social and geological. In response to the challenges of Covid 19 and working from her studio in London, Tana has tapped into some of St Austell’s lively social media channels to gather stories and imagery for her panorama; and has received parcels of clay and waste materials collected by Whitegold curator, Katie Bunnell from clay country sites identified through the Brickfield project. Find out more here
PLUG BACK INTO YOUR ROOTS: AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE FOR WINDOW INTO WHITEGOLD
Immersive film/sound score experience (10m11s)
Plug back into your roots for a little moment of clay country chill out.
Regardless of where you are in the world, or who you are with, plug into the live stream and disappear into cool greenery, tune into wildlife and immerse yourself in the turquoise clay lakes. Plug Back Into Your Roots combines video images, an original sound score from People String Foundation musician Ben Sutcliffe, songs and spoken word from Emily Woodman and Bec Appleby with gentle prompts and instructions to tell you some stories and take you on a wander with your feet or in your imagination to explore your surroundings. Wherever you are plugged in from, we guarantee you will be taken somewhere else for a while!
Visit the ‘Plug Back into your Roots’ page to learn about live performances taking place for small audience groups at Wheal Martyn on 19th September at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm. Booking for these live on site shows is essential to manage visitor numbers, and can be done through wheal-martyn.com/events Find out more here
MATT DAVIS INSTALLS ‘TREMEN’
Short film (est. 10m)
On 18th September cutting edge ceramic designer Matt Davies is due to start installing his work in central St Austell and Window into Whitegold will be there to meet him and find out more about what he will be doing.
Comprised of tessellating ceramic tiles, reflective surfaces and bespoke lighting, Davis’s work will transform a covered passageway leading from Biddick’s Court into Fore Street, linking the town centre to the Priory Road car park.
We’ll take a few minutes of Davis’ time when installing his work to talk to him about the project, how it was conceived and designed and what it will look like when completed. Find out more here
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAY DOWN TO LOOK AT THE SKY?
Live radio broadcast (1h40m)
When was the last time you lay down to look at the sky? Is a radio broadcast that invites listeners on an audio journey from the bottom of the clay pits up into space – narrating local people’s stories along the way.
Throughout the day (un-timed interactive content):
Foraging afficiandos Emma Gunn (Never Mind the Burdocks) Duana Pearson (Edible St Austell) and the HOTmesses (STUDIO.HOTmess) have assembled to encourage your participation in the Edible Hinterlands project that hopes to gather information about locally foraged flora for inclusion in a community handbook of foraging fare, delicious recipes and a map of good searching spots in the St Austell area.
Watch out for instagram and facebook posts releasing foraging quizzes, revealing recipes in the hope you join in with your own.
On September 19 the 2020 Whitegold Festival of Clay was due to take place in St Austell town centre with a vibrant craft fair of ceramic makers right at its heart.
Despite global circumstances making it difficult to physically gather together in person, we wanted to keep the spirit of the craft fair alive as part of ‘Window into Whitegold’. We’re delighted therefore to be able to showcase the work of a selection of fantastic ceramicists and studio potters in our ‘virtual craft fair’.
All featured makers had a ‘virtual pitch’, with links to their own websites and shops.
Have a browse and feel inspired to make a ceramic purchase!
Performance artist MC Teabag offered quick-fire virtual readings of your tea, in residency on Instagram throughout the day. It was available to all Window into Whitegold participants and followers – by simply sending a photo of your tea to @mc_teabag to learn what your future holds.(disclaimer: may be whimsical).