05 August 2013

penryn arts festival

penryn has just had its first ever arts festival courtesy of lidl (and other generous funders). i'm not quite convinced by the logic behind it but apparently when lidl was built 6 years ago there was an agreement that they paid £10,000 towards an arts festival for the town. i'm unsure if this was in some way supposed to compensate for the impact of another supermarket on penryn's already dwindling small independent food retailers and..... why an arts festival, or who decides these things...... but...... it was really wonderful and the community feeling was inspiring.  

during the week my friend minko took up residence in her cardboard shed in my studio with her maracas, xylophone and boyfriend for her project 'one song wonder'. from inside her little world she played beautiful pared away songs to an audience of one or two people. 

"the project was inspired by the intimate spaces where she rehearses with other musicians - sheds, garages and bedrooms and aims to offer a completely different experience to that of being a member of a crowd or even a faceless listener on the internet".

and on the saturday night she played a candle lit gig to launch her second ep, 'creature' (which you can find here ).this was partly inspired by my current lack of electricity in the building but also the feeling that walls of candles would create a magical atmosphere. so i set to work bending spoons (more brute force than uri geller panache) to quickly russell up forty candle holders. fortunately soup spoons seem to be out of fashion these days so i managed to find thirty in the salvation army shop alone.... and got a discount for buying so many! i mentioned to the old lady that they were just what i was looking for. she said 'you look like an arty type' and i replied that i wasn't intending to have thirty people round for soup. with a self-assured, knowing twinkle in her eye she said, 'i knew you were going to make something'. but time was running out so i had to dash without letting her in on the plan. 

spoons bent and candles secured the evening got off to a flickering start. minko pinned yellow flowers to the walls and as audience members filled the room a warm glow radiated out into the street. i hadn't anticipated that the combined heat of people and candles would make for a very warm room. maybe a source of heating for the winter? we pondered which gave off more heat - a candle or a person? as night fell shadows became stronger, the music ever fuller and i felt like we'd created a world apart. people wandering home looked in, two drunks sheltered in the doorway from a brief shower. from outside i saw my space radiant with light and life - a quiet but fiery haven.

1 comment:

  1. It was a truly magical evening, so thanks for the spoons and the warmth of people, candle flame and beautiful songs. The Penryn Arts Festival was really great and allowed for the small and intimate as well as the spectacular. I heard that the original funding was meant to be for one public work of art but Penryn used it to create a multi-arts festival that resonated in a way far stronger than a solitary and silent art work. It had heart like a Minko song in a cardboard shed.