The Penzance Convention

Building on the legacy of The Falmouth Convention, The Penzance Convention was a three-day conference in expanded form. It reflected on the theme of extraction, with reference both to the social and environmental narratives of Cornwall’s extractive industries – mining and fishing in particular – and to the processes by which artists draw meaning from history and site.

The Convention set out to develop the interdisciplinary approach exemplified by the Falmouth Convention field trips in 2010. It was conceived as an international meeting of artists, curators, writers, scientists, historians, philosophers and experts from other fields, with an emphasis on exchange of views and experiences. It focused on the far west of Cornwall, drawing on histories specific to this locale. In addition to field trips and conference presentations, it offered opportunities for informal debate and social exchange.

The Penzance Convention was initiated by the independent curator Teresa Gleadowe, convenor of the event with artist Hadrian Pigott, Chair of the Penzance Seafront Forum, and in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, Penzance. The Convention producers were Phil Rushworth and Bettina Wenzel.