The day began with a briefing, accompanied by the most comprehensive risk assessment I have seen. Nothing had been left to chance, yet the feeling in the gallery is relaxed and light humored belying the serious planning that has led to this point.
I keep using the word ‘happenings’, because that is what it feels like, turning a corner past a Barbara Hepworth and happening on a song in the atrium that leaves staff weeping, knitters on red cushions gently chatting, or a silent performance at the entrance that causes visitors to pause and question. All have been devised by young people, through three strands of programme in response to the theme of exchange, reflecting the current exhibition.
‘Far Out and Further Away’, delivered by artist and curator Maria Christoforidou, saw a series of workshops resulting in a collection of exchanges both within and beyond the gallery then printed as a free booklet given to visitors. An artist residency at Truro College by Naomi Frears, saw students create origami sketchbooks on display for both viewing and comment. Under their instruction, you can now make your own sketchbook for use in the gallery. What commitment to arrive by coach from Truro on a sunny Saturday morning!
Members of Tate Collective St Ives who completed a Peer-Leadership course are inviting interaction with their selves and ideas through a range of medium, from body-graffiti to poetry composition. Bringing any audience into Tate St Ives on such a glorious day must be challenging, but to see young people enjoying their role as artists and welcoming others with such confidence, is spot-on Circuit. Congratulations to Sally and the staff who should be proud of what has been achieved. Visitors are able to experience the amazing collection and raise a smile or shed a tear at the same time.