St Austell’s new Cornish Dark Honeybee tile mural made up of over 11,000 handmade ceramic tiles is now complete in Biddicks Court.
The ambitious artwork, two years in the making, is the largest Whitegold Project public art commission to date – and the first, in a series, to be completed. Making-up the mural are thousands of ceramic tiles made from local St Austell clay, handmade by local residents, artists, makers and HRH Prince Charles at ‘the hive’ workshop space in the town centre.
The yellow glazed tiles depict 11 icons, selected by the local community to symbolise St Austell and the town’s favourite landmarks, which are: the clay country sky tip, the Gribben, mackerel, sheep, pasties, waves, hearts, sun, mines, boats and sunflowers.
The Whitegold Project, one arm of the Austell Project, is aptly named after the financial reward clay brought to the area. Through a variety of activities, the Projects are engaging, educating and inspiring people to get involved in ceramics and learn about the town’s clay heritage, to help restore a sense of pride.
The concept for the mural was created by Parasite Ceramics and is designed to celebrate Cornwall’s native honeybee and emphasise the importance of sustainability and the environment. This striking and collaborative Whitegold Project ceramic commission is hoped to be an enduring legacy – made for the town, of the clay which is part of its foundations.
This new artwork also ties together the Austell Project’s key themes of horticulture and clay, deep rooted in the fabric of St Austell’s heritage, which are playing central roles in the cultural regeneration of the town, reimagining St Austell.
The Whitegold Project’s next phase will see 12 more special ceramic artwork commissions introduced at locations throughout St Austell between now and June 2021, from works by young Cornish makers, to world famous guest artists.
The commissin has been made possible, thanks for support from sponsors Nationwide Print, St Austell Business Improvement District, Cornwall Council, St Austell Town Council, APS Construction, Imerys and The National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The Cornish Honeybee mural and information about the other temporary and permanent artworks being created in St Austell by leading international artists will be able to view virtually, as part of the new Austell Project digital festival taking place on September 19th, 2020. In an exciting new digital format, the online event is combining elements of both The Garden Festival and the Whitegold Festival of Clay which were postponed to 2021 earlier this year, due to Covid-19.