This week we have been busy creating seasonal outfits and instruments with infant children from 5 primary schools on the lizard, in preparation for a special harvest procession that will take place at 2pm on the 24th October 2014 in the Orchard at Kestle Barton. These workshops are part of a new project ‘Turning Seasons,’ which also involves Kestle Barton, Rural Centre for Contemporary Art and artist Julia Giles. A big thanks to the Ernest Cook Trust and FEAST who have made this project possible by providing funding. During this weeks workshops we explored the seasons and considered our connection to the land through a range of activities that included movement, storytelling and art. Children created some wonderful painted leaf head-dresses and made drums, shakers and wind instruments to enable us to make lots of noise for the procession!
On the 24th October the children will come together at Kestle Barton to partake in a seasonal procession called the Keskerdh An Kammva Dro. Devised by artist Julia Giles this installation draws upon ceremonies and rituals conducted locally to mark the cycle of the seasons. Requiring a short march around a route through the orchard, and plenty of energy to keep the seasons turning, this procession promises to be both colourful and noisy! All and everyone are welcome to join in this ritual performance and celebrate harvest… the more noise the better! There will also be food and music, to help celebrate in true Cornish style.
This will be the third year in a row that the Keskerdh An Kammva Dro has been performed at Kestle Barton, making it an annual ritual that carries on in the rural traditions of honouring the changing seasons and the yearly harvest. Made initially by Giles in October 2012 with the Newlyn Society of Artists exhibition Site Non Site, the Keskerdh An Kammva Dro returned to Kestle Barton in August 2013, for ‘This Land’, an event held as part of ‘Tallys an Tir; Traditions & Stories of the Land.’ On the morning of the procession, children will come to Kestle Barton to participate in the ‘The Big Draw’ a national campaign to promote drawing. For this they will draw inspiration from the current exhibition ‘Garden Drawings’ by Hannah Woodman, as well the beautiful gardens themselves. This exhibition remains on until 1 November when Kestle Barton close for the winter. The schools involved are from the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust, consisting of St Keverne, Coverack, Grade-Ruan, Manaccan and St Martin-in-Meaneage. Any other schools or programmes that wish to participate in the procession at 2pm on Friday 24 October are welcome and should get in touch.
Here is a brilliant digital story, made from a recording between Rex Hosking and artist Louise McClary, who both live and work in St.Martin. In this short story Rex share some of his memories of farming in St.Martin, Cornwall. These include memories of using a haypole, childhood on a farm, a tractor that could plough a field on its own! We have been trying to track down the archive photograph that Rex talks about in this but so far have had no luck, if anyone has any ideas about where this may be, please do get in touch.
What a brilliant 3 days we had over our recent event at Gunwen Chapel in Luxulyan.
The event kicked off with a crying the neck ceremony with the 3 local primary schools, Luxulyan, Lanivet and Lanlivery, followed by corn dolly making with Kath Strang. The same evening, another crying the neck ceremony was led by Mark Hawken, with a service from the Reverent Malcolm Bowers (I am currently putting together a film of this, so watch this space). This was followed by a traditional Gunwen feast (not to be missed!) and a Cornish sing along led by Keith and Clarinder Truscott.
Following an afternoon of film screenings on the Friday, we continued the celebrations on Saturday with singing, dancing, a range of musicians, and of course some more delicious food, courtesy of Gunwen Chapel.
The whole event was set against a backdrop of local photographs, films, maps, objects and artwork, brought together over the last year through the projects work with a local group of volunteers and primary schools. Ivan also managed to get hold of a cow for hand milking and a fergy T20.
A HUGE thank you to all that enabled this to happen, and contributed their time, photographs, stories and musical talents. A particular thank you to Ivan, Margaret, Hilary & Rob. It was such a pleasure being involved in this close-knit community, and i’m sure the work started during this project will continue.
As ‘Tallys an Tir’ is coming towards it’s final stages we have had a great month, enjoying a series of celebratory events that brought together material collected and produced during the project for all to see.
The past 2 weekends we were at RoseHip Barn on Trefranck Farm in St.Clether and then Gunwen Chapel in the Luxulyan area.
Each event has been very different, depending on the project work that has been going on in the area, and each has been packed with stories, food, fun and plenty to see. It has been an absolute pleasure working within each community, and good to know that the work started will continue.
Over the next few blog posts I will be putting up some more photos from each event. I will then continue to post some of the films, recordings, photographs and other material that has been collected over the project.
Calling all farmers who have fields of wheat that is yet to be combined… we need wheat for making corn dollies later this Summer! This is for our event at Gunwen, part of which will involve inviting local Schools to join us for a crying the neck ceremony, followed by some traditional corn dolly making.
If you can help us, and are in Cornwall, please do get in touch! Call me (Sarah) on 07767382552 or 01326 569485.