Mix of participants
It was the most exciting thing and such a privilege to spend time among so many inspired and driven people. The diversity of our practices made for a very supportive and non-competitive group, which also made the atmosphere conducive to open discussion.
I thought the number and range of participants was perfect. If any more participants were included, I think the discussions would run the risk of becoming less concentrated. In terms of the range of people there, I thought it was brilliant to have a mix – a diversity of perspectives and experiences.
The number was perfect. Over a week we had enough time to speak to everyone and form relationships naturally. The artists who joined us at stages throughout the week – Abigail Reynolds and Naomi Frears
– complemented the range of participants. In contrast to London, I was struck by the relative homogeneity of the participants’ nationality and race. I found this really interesting – reflecting on this as representative of the broader demographic in Cornwall, the cohesion enabled by cultural backgrounds, and what other categories of diversity might be prioritised in the region – for example socio-economic status.
I was very interested in the notion of the ‘subtle chain of associations’ prompted by Christina, and the way that the loose structure of the week allowed for meanderings, wandering discussions, additions and drop-ins. It felt like the workshop was very responsive to the desires and interests of the group.
Christina’s interest in materials and their processes, for me, framed the whole week. It provided an appropriate filter through which to view the talks and walks. I’ve never before felt so focused on the interrelationships between time, material and place.
I liked the looseness of the structure of the week – having some points at which to connect through workshops, walks and activities – but also time to wander, meander, think, talk… I think this made everyone feel very relaxed and immersed in the workshop and it enabled me to forget about outside commitments and feel very present with the group.
Staying at Kestle Barton was magical. It’s a wonderful place and its location by the Helford River is really special. I think Kestle Barton fosters a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, which helps for discussions to evolve in a natural way. This is important because it creates a different type of discussion to that which happens in a more formal setting, or one removed from nature. It also felt important that we could all stay there together, rather than travelling each day from separate places.
I was the oldest person in the group and really appreciated the peace, comfort and quiet. I think it was really important, especially as the workshop was a very intense experience.
It felt really important to have a comfortable and cosy base for the workshop – a space to rest, talk and hang out, as much as a space to eat together and have more structured workshop sessions.
The accommodation entirely shaped the whole experience. Living together, in such a beautiful, peaceful location, for the duration of the workshop made so much of what we have all gained from this experience possible. The early morning/ late night talking, dancing, swimming was pivotal.
The week was an immensely enriching experience, which gave me so much to look into and think about in regards to the development of my work. Long-term the most valuable thing I gained from the week was building connections / friendships with other people, largely from Cornwall, who share a similar set of interests to me… it’s helped me feel like I am part of a stronger, local support structure that is connected to my work.
The Cornwall Workshop, through its connection with Groundwork, emphasises the connection of the Cornish landscape with history and community. Seeing artistic practice as a relational activity rather than an isolated activity will encourage practice that is better at connecting and communicating with people. For me this workshop was also about bringing new audiences to cultural activity and finding new ways of being alive.