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Whitegold Festival

The Austell Project goes virtual for 2020 – as town centre festivals are postponed until 2021

The Austell Project announces that both its 2020 town centre events, The Garden festival and The Whitegold Festival of Clay, are postponed until 2021 – following the UK Government and Public Health England’s recommendations in response to Covid-19. 

After careful consideration, with public safety as the top priority, organisers have made the difficult but necessary decision that neither event will be able to go ahead as planned this year.

However, all is not lost as the team is launching an exciting virtual exhibition online to showcase the Garden Route projects, Whitegold public art commissions and hopefully the completed International Ceramics Prize winner’s works – making a vast selection accessible from home. 

The collection of artworks, being created by leading international artists especially for St Austell was intended to be exhibited at the Whitegold festival this September, will now be shown online via the Whitegold website from September. 

Works by ceramic designer Matt Davies, artists Cleo Mussi and Simon Bayliss and the Cornish Honey Bee Tile mural – created with over 10,000 stoneware tiles made by local residents of St Austell, artists, makers and HRH Prince Charles – will be available to view virtually in the Project’s first online exhibition.

James Staughton, Chair of St Austell Bay Economic Forum (which leads the Austell Project) says: “Although a very tough decision and one we didn’t take lightly, our team feel postponing until 2021 is what’s necessary to help keep everyone safe. We know, like us, many will be left disappointed, however we’re very excited to be able to continue our work for St Austell and look forward to sharing our ongoing initiatives and developments over the coming months.”

Co-Curator, of the Whitegold Project, Alex Murdin added:

“We’re fortunate to be working with an incredible mix of established artists, collaborating to bring to life a number of new artworks for St Austell. Thankfully a form of the festival can be pivoted to bring a new, free, online exhibition – something we’re hugely excited to share.”

In another development, next year the two festivals are set to merge together as one – providing one bigger programme of workshops, activities, craft stalls, food traders, live music and entertainment for local people to enjoy. 2021 dates are set to be confirmed and announced shortly.

Both the Garden and Whitegold festivals are Austell Project initiatives, led by St Austell Bay Economic Forum – a collective made up of local businesses, public bodies and community organisations, working together to better St Austell Bay and the surrounding clay villages.

The Austell Project seeks to enhance the landscape, transform public spaces, stimulate economic growth and promote pride in the local community. The ambitious and varied project initiatives all centre around two key themes, deep rooted within the fabric of St Austell’s heritage – horticulture (The Garden Route) and clay (The Whitegold Project). It is the Project’s hope to create a new vision for St Austell’s cultural future.

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