Convivial Clay: Shortlisted Artists use Prize Money to Work with Communities in St Austell
The four artist collectives shortlisted for the Whitegold International Ceramic Prize 2020 have requested an exciting and radical change in the way the Prize is delivered. They have volunteered to give up the prize money and use it instead to work together to deliver four socially engaged projects for communities in St Austell. The group which consists of Clayground Collective, Rochester Square, Grizedale Arts and Portland Inn Project say:
A prize seems inappropriate in these times, so we have mutually agreed to forego the prize money and reinvest the funds into projects for St Austell. We all share a similar ethos: an ambition to use art and making as part of the everyday, as a ‘common’ resource that enriches, connects and develops all of our lives. Our project activities will focus on encouraging communities to make with clay, engaging them in strong common themes of growing plants, making food and creating convivial events.
This year’s international prize has the theme of convivial clay and invites the artists to propose projects with three community groups local to St Austell: St Blazey Community Café, Edible St Austell and Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change. Their proposed projects will involve participants in activities that connect clay and food together and culminate in a social event for the Whitegold Festival in 2021
Creative practitioners Duncan Hooson, Claire West and Julia Rowntree collaborate across artforms to engage the public, educators and researchers through clay. Clayground will be working with St Blazey Community Café to deliver their History: Histree/ Hertree project building Tree of Life ceramic sculptures, and with Edible St Austell to deliver A Walk On The Wild Side creating raw clay choughs with seeds embedded to be deposited around the town.
Francesca Anfossi’s work takes craft practice as a starting point for her participatory projects, using ceramic as the main material. Francesca will be collaborating with Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change to deliver A Cornish Banquet, engaging with members of the CN4C community both digitally and face to face. They will be sharing images of food, creating printed postcards with recipes, making plates with coloured clays and organising in a community banquet for Whitegold Festival in June 2021.
Belinda Faulkes from CN4C says:
this is a lovely project, I think it offers some really nice opportunities for communication and creativity within the community, we are really looking forward to its growth & development.
Portland Inn Project
The Portland Inn Project is a creative arts project for a community in Stoke-on-Trent. Anna Francis, Rebecca Davies and Alice Thatcher will be working with Edible St Austell on Grow It, Cook It, Eat It, involving them in workshops making clay planters based on portrait heads of local people, growing food from seed and cooking up a feast for the Festival in 2021.
Portland Inn say:
At the heart of The Portland Inn Project is an understanding of the amazing material potential of clay for our community… We love the work being done by Whitegold with communities and the landscape, and recognise a correlation between our places.
Grizedale Arts is a local resource and an international arts organisation. Its activity is drawn from existing, available resources, from raw materials to cultural heritage. Adam Sutherland and associated artists are aiming to work across all community groups involved to develop useful products that communities will be able to make themselves and sell them through an online shop.
All the projects will use a mixture of online and face-to face approaches to participatory making activities and these will be delivered over a period that extends from September 2020 to June 2021 when a face to face Whitegold Festival is planned and enabling communities and artists to come together with the general public to share their project outcomes.