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Open Studios Cornwall 2024

From Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June, hundreds of Cornish creatives will throw open the doors of their studios and workshops to showcase their skills, impart their influences and share their stories through Open Studios Cornwall.

Distinctive orange Os denote these intriguing spaces – from Lamorna to Looe and Mullion to Menheniot – which offer a cultural awakening as we explore the ambit of art forms, dive deep into the human psyche, open our eyes to new worlds and embrace the power of creativity to ease the mind and soothe the soul.

In Edwardian terraces, Georgian summerhouses and Victorian shops; potting sheds, fish cellars and milking barns, Open Studios Cornwall not only shines a spotlight on the creative talents and unique perspectives of painters, potters, printmakers, photographers, jewellers, woodturners and weavers. It also allows us to view the county’s harbour villages, coastal towns and moorland hamlets afresh, and acquire original work from a myriad of makers who are eager to invite us in.

This year, several creative clusters have emerged – in Trew, Trewidden, St Agnes, Falmouth and the environs of the Helford River – energised by a spirit of community and collaboration.

Open Studios Cornwall also offers one of two annual opportunities to gain behind-the-scenes access to many of the artists’ studios at Krowji in Redruth, which are usually closed to the public.

From Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and Korean tea bowls to 19th century wet plate collodion photography and heritage dyeing techniques, ancient cultures merge with modern ideas in an exuberance of artistic alchemy.

Wool, flax and woad; clay, wax and honeycomb; stones, fossils and bones; sepia ink and egg tempura; vintage linen and antique lace; spray paint and copper wire; foraged foliage and raw pigments are layered, stitched, spun, glazed, fired, carved and cast, and ingeniously transformed into tangible manifestations to evoke emotion and provoke thought.

The soft lines of sea-worn boulders and tidal patterns on the shoreline; the elemental drama of the coast and the timeless enchantment of verdant valleys and leafy lanes are all sources of inspiration, as artisans record their individual responses to Cornwall’s exceptional light and the ever-changing colours of land, sea and sky.

There is also folklore and fable, and the realms of the subconscious to be explored as participants address the nature of reality and perception, themes of humanity and injustice, and our collective quest to capture moments of stillness in our busy lives.

A programme of pre-bookable workshops also encourages visitors to develop expertise in botanical painting, seaweed pressing or crafting for wellness.

“From contemporary realism and intuitive abstracts to hand-stitched adornments, surrealist mezzotints, decorative homewares, and so much more, Open Studios Cornwall celebrates the extraordinary diversity of Cornish creativity,” explains Project Director, Bethany Lyne. “Whether inspired by the county’s rugged natural beauty or underpinned by broader environmental and social concerns, eclectic styles and traditional crafts combine in this annual appreciation of Cornwall’s community of creatives, which enables us to highlight their artistry, hear their voices and purchase their work.”

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