The Cruel and Curious Sea

The stuff of folklore,this rugged coastline has many stories of olde, but last weekend modern day pirates, beachcombers and surfers all came to life for the ” Cruel and Curious Sea”.

In conjunction with the National Trust, HickoryNines curated the Art event in the buildings surrounding the courtyard at Stowe Barton. Perched in the lee of a steep wooded valley on the North Cornish Coast, it’s a large windswept farmstead with the loftiest barns, protected by the loftiest walls too. With a team of helpers including Natalia, Bob, Roo and Carn, and Jeff, Cai Waggett turned it into a natural nautical set.

In keeping with the theme, the strong offshore breeze blew through, jangling chains, swaying lanterns and sending flickering light across the cobbled floors to music of sea shanties and the spiders took refuge where they could.

As the light faded, streams of cars came down the road, the surf film was rolling and the party started, sorry Art Event! The shippon still had its stalls with troughs and water bowls. Bringing our own lighting and props, each bay took on its own individuality. Here were Rob Weare photographer, Chris Hartrop surfer/sculpture , Martin Dorey photography, Daniel Scott (theheadthetail) sculpture/installation,Dan Fear graphic illustrator, Bryn Byrd Hall illustration/artist, Jago Silver Digital illustration, Louise of Golden Bear Belts, Andrew Wightman illustrations, Myself with paintings and mixed media, Robbie Jones woodcuts/ink, and Danni Bradford illustrations. A beautiful stormy cornish cottage diorama with soundscape by Hana Backland had a room of its own, and the store housed photographic displays by Rich McGonigal, Lee Robertson, Shayne House and Rebecca Pepperell.

I submitted work back in May, or more like ideas!. Accepted, I had all summer to. think about and conceptualise some of these. The title was so inspiring, I think several of us got quite carried away with the theme which produced the most amazing work.

Held in darkness over two evenings this late September, the magic was in the setting, but the warmth was in the atmosphere of community and creativity and I felt very priveleged to be a part of it.

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