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. The tour continued with a trip to the CAST studios in Helston.
Tate St Ives’ Collective spent the day exploring the studios at CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) in Helston after travelling from all over Cornwall including Falmouth, St Ives and Penzance.
Despite the somewhat dilapidated nature of the old school house, the brightly lit, wide open spaces were welcoming and held an air of potential for their development into working studio environments. The extensive ongoing renovations of the building reveal its history, which as much as possible is being retained so that a visual conversation between past and present can constantly be taking place.
Merryn, James and Ben introduced us to their studios and their varied working practices, ranging from paint, to print to the investigation of mirrors and solar energy. The group went through a series of quick-fire half hour workshops to introduce us to how each of them like to work in their studios. We undertook the task of giving a title to a painting, made postcard mono prints, and endeavored to use mirrors to see an object hidden in another part of the room.
All opened our eyes to alternative ways of making work and problem solving in a creative environment. The opportunity to see practicing artists at home in their own studios was a first for some of the Collective members, and to be introduced to the working methods that they use in their own practices was enlightening even to those of us with our own working practices.