Here we are at Kestle Barton

By Rachael Coward

The Circuit Magic Bus Tour, a collaboration between Tate Collective St Ives and The Collaborators at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, was a chance for young people to visit the most exciting galleries, studios and venues across west Cornwall, and to gain a unique insight into the work and creative output of these places, learn how they connect with artists and find out what they might mean to us. On the first trip, we visited Kestle Barton, an ancient Cornish farmstead in Helston converted into an art gallery. 


Here we are at Kestle Barton

Beer she far to castle martian

Near me far the kettle Martin

Knee we father messy Charlton


Paul Chaney’s ‘Encampment Supreme’ at Kestle Barton was the location for working with Poet Ella Frears for an afternoon of wordplay and writing.

Paul Chaney’s ‘Encampment Supreme’ at Kestle Barton

Paul Chaney’s ‘Encampment Supreme’ at Kestle Barton

The group of Tate Collective members and Newlyn and The Exchange Collaborators traveled from Falmouth, St Ives and Penzance on the Circuit Magic Bus Tour to arrive on location at Kestle Barton, where we were introduced to the concept of formulating sounds in text, automatic writing and writing our own poetry.

A discussion of James Wrights’ ‘Lying in a hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota’ led us to question the intentions and reality of the environment which had been created around the reader: was he actually in that hammock on the farm? Or was the whole piece a performance, a placement of sensorial catalysts to make us believe he was there?

Nevertheless, the piece proved a stimulating point of conversation and a starting point for us to create our own responses to our surroundings at Kestle Barton. The concept of writing poetry was relatively new to all of us but after our earlier encounters and experiments with the written word the results were diverse and yet unique to everyone’s own voice.

Kestle Barton

Responding to the environment at Kestle Barton through poetry

We came to the conclusion that even though Wright thought he might have wasted his life in his poem, we certainly did not waste our time conversing, writing, and discovering a new clarity to our own language.