Bringing a creative spirit to St Austell

Our aim is to bring public engagement to visually deprived areas of the town to build pride and confidence in our built environment, the work is being undertaken by Whitegold and Austell Project.

Established and emerging artists from all parts of the world have been invited to respond to 4 public art installations briefs to be installed in St Austell town centre. A shortlist of artists were invited to St Austell for a tour of the region’s clay country before submitting a statement of intent that draws on the culture of the St Austell area. The jury made up of local residents and business owners selected the artists from the shortlist as final winners to develop their proposal for completion in time for the 2020 Whitegold Festival.

Artists who are contributing the scheme are:

David Mach | Marion Brandis | Matt Davis | Sandy Brown | Cleo Mussi | Susan Elliott | Jenny Beavan | Simon Bayliss | Studio Hot.Mess | Paul Jackson | Georgia Gendall

Find out more about each artist below.

Marion Brandis

Marion Brandis has been awarded the Treudhow commission to create a ceramic art installation which will be displayed in St Austell Town Centre. Marion will be making the work from local china clay and encouraging local people to help with pieces at an event at Wheal Martyn Clayworks on Saturday 16th of May 2020.

The artwork will be inspired by the key concerns of the Whitegold project – China Clay, the culture of clay country, the areas gardens, the natural world and the future environment, somehow adding to a sense of place for St Austell and as a focus for civic pride.

Marion is an experienced artist working in public spaces in mosaic. Quite classic/traditional in style we hope the work will sit well in this conservation area with the Grade II listed building behind. The panel was particularly interested in her current work with spherical sculptures and the idea of one created specifically to celebrate the connections of the town from this point. Well known for the natural themes in her work she is keen to work with plants here.

There is a great opportunity here to introduce some initial greening elements into the town centre and we hope that the stakeholders involved in this location will work with the artist to look at improving the setting, including surrounding walls.

David Mach is appealing for your ceramic memoriesYou can become part of a major new public art work, Earthly Delights, by David Mach, R.A. – commissioned for St Austell in Cornwall, the home of china clay.

We need your donations, along with your story about the piece of ceramic you donate to complete ‘Earthly Delights‘. David will be giving a signed limited-edition print to each of the first 100 contributions that he selects to go into the artwork. Don’t forget to tell us what the piece of ceramic means to you and we will publish your stories online. The best written story about a ceramic contribution selected by David will also receive an artwork made and signed by the artist.

“I’d like to you give me the pieces of broken ceramic you’ve found on the beach, the fragments, the shards, or even whole ceramics you may have kept. Something with a story to tell.”

“I want to hear it. Why you kept it. Where you found it, who gave it to you? Is it an heirloom? Was it your parents, your mothers thimble, your dad’s ashtray, your wife’s jewellery tree. Is it just a piece of your favourite mug? I’ll collect all your stories together and set the ceramics together in a wall into one large eclectic and vibrant artwork in St Austell.”

One of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists, David Mach, has been announced as the artist behind a newly commissioned work for the centre of St Austell. It will be one of a programme of exciting new commissioned by the Whitegold Project.

Composed of hundreds of fragments, broken pieces of vase, parts of teapots, segments of teacups, plates, saucers, and everything ceramic, Mach’s commission, entitled ‘ Earthly Delights ‘ is set to be installed by the Autumn of 2020, the fragments it’s made up of will ‘ tile ‘ most of a wall some 19 metres wide.

The idea comes from picking up 1000’s of pieces of pottery on his local beach in Scotland, all made with the same clay that comes out of Cornwall. Collecting fragment on the beach is a common thing to do in the UK and an activity that binds and connects us. We walk our beaches. We pick up these small pieces, remnants of whole objects all designed, patterned and illustrated in a wide variety of colours and shapes, sizes and styles. Mach wants to use these to make his installation and to extend that connection. Even small fragments combined in their hundreds and thousands will make a substantial artwork for St Austell:

“A hand from a damaged figurine, the lettering from a salt cellar, the spout of a teapot, the handle of a cup. A small thing you haven’t let go of yet. A holiday souvenir, a wedding gift, a commemorative plate.

“The wall will stand as a kind of monument to St Austell but not just to the town. It’ll celebrate the far-reaching impact of the Cornish China Clay industry, its history and how that goes out into the UK, into Europe and indeed out into the world.”

The pieces of ceramic you donate can be something the size of a postage stamp and able to fit in a regular envelope. Larger, or even whole pieces are also welcome. Please include your story with the ceramic. Be part of a historic installation – post your contributions to:


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