The Cornwall Workshop


9.30am – 6pm Saturday 19 May
The Exchange, Princes Street, Penzance

Conference presentations: field trip leaders’ reports and discussion of field trip experiences.

09.00–09.45 Tea and coffee at The Exchange

The Penzance Convention reflects on the theme of extraction, with reference both to Cornwall’s extractive industries – mining, fishing and farming – and to the processes by which artists draw meaning from history and site.

Abigail Reynolds has worked with gallery technicians and volunteers to transform the gallery space at The Exchange for the Convention. Entitled Extraction/Exchange, the installation first hosted the Extraction: Projection exhibition and has now been reconfigured and extended for the Convention conference. It is made of corrugated card, pallets and reclaimed wood and refers to disparate sources, from picture palaces to modernist architecture, as well as bringing in local references such as Gwennap Pit and the Minack Theatre.

09.45 Welcome by James Green, Director of The Exchange, and Teresa Gleadowe, Co-convenor of The Penzance Convention

Field trip reports and responses 10.00-13.00
Introduction by Hadrian Pigott, Co-convenor of The Penzance Convention, Chair of this session.

Dr Robin Shail, Camborne School of Mines: Introduction to the geology of the Penwith peninsula and reports on field trips led by Camborne School of Mines, exploring aspects of Cornwall’s mineral mining history and current mining aspirations. Artists’ responses by Lucy Gunning and Abigail Reynolds

Paul Chaney and Kenna Hernly: The Story of NPK: Agriculture as Extraction

Andrew Lanyon: Extracting Creativity

11.20-11.50 BREAK

Hadrian Pigott: The Invisibles – Emanations and Extractions from Hot Rocks

Billy Wynter: Coast-to-Coast

Iain Boal and Nick Howell: Newlyn Fishing Industry – Stories of Extraction


13.00-14.30 LUNCH at PZ Gallery on Coinagehall Street (at the bottom of Chapel Street, near the Jubilee Pool)

Break-out session hosted by Cornwall Autonomous Zone (CAZ)
13.30-14.30 Ingrid Swenson, Director of PEER, London, talks about arts-led regeneration and how to survive as a small visual arts organisation through forming partnerships outside the sector.
(Basement of The Exchange, New Street entrance, opposite the Star Inn – ring buzzer for entry. Maximum capacity 50, ambulant access only).

Extraction and its complications 14.30-16.45
This session, convened and chaired by Robin Mackay, Director of Urbanomic, brings together speakers from a wide range of disciplines to try to isolate and make sense of the ‘logic of extraction’ as it is manifested in many different domains.

Robin Mackay: Introduction – ‘Underground Adventure’ – From Mines to Signs

Complications are a regular feature of extraction. While careful, correct technique minimises these, it is important to be aware of the potential damage types, their avoidance and subsequent treatment.
A. J. Smithson, ‘Oral Surgery Part 4: Extraction Complications’, Companion Animal 12:4 (May 2007): 74-81, 74.

Ancient cultures could not have imagined how modern technologies of mining, extraction and processing would transform the planet in the space of a century. And yet they were affected by a foreboding as to the dangers held in the depths. From the advent of the Industrial Revolution, humans put aside ancient apprehensions and drilled deeper and deeper into the strata of the Earth, extracting mineral wealth and leaving voids in their wake. It is difficult now to think of the human as anything other than homo extractus.

Allen Buckley: The Cornish Adventure – From Surface to Depths

Shaun Lewin: Mining the Ocean – From Quota to Capitalisation

John Gerrard: Remote-Control Agriculture – From Dust Storm to Grow Finish Unit

Esther Leslie: The Black Spectrum – From Coal to Colour

16.00-16.45 Panel discussion and questions

16.45-17.15 BREAK

Local Operations
Sally Tallant, Artistic Director of the Liverpool Biennial, reflects on its role and value in a shrinking city.

17.45-18.30 Closing discussion and questions

18.30 CLOSE