Wednesday 27 March 2019

Two meetings in Truro on migrant workers

A week of meetings ....
After Camborne on Monday, two more good meetings in Truro yesterday on migrant workers. The first with Carl Warom who deals with Brexit matters at Cornwall Council (not an enviable task! Carl used to be a philosophy researcher  . A real change of path but perhaps philosophy helps in turbulent times).
Then with Andrew Yates, the Diocese of Truro's Social Responsibility officer. We're making plans to do more workshops in schools and with community groups. 
Andrew is so busy and always on the road between meetings. So we met st Truro station before he caught the train back to Penzance.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

First steps in next stage of World War One history project

Two good meetings in Camborne yesterday
- at St John's Catholic Primary School where we're hoping to forge links with a  school in Estaires
- with descendants of Cornish miners from Dolcoath who went out to the Front in 1914
All part of the next stage of our work in Cornwall on World War One history- funded by the National Lottery Heritage  Fund.  More about that here 
Susan Roberts
Bridging Arts
Tel: 07772 128 014

Thursday 14 March 2019

Unveiling of World War One memorial at Penponds Church

As part of our project Heart of Conflict, we've been looking at local World War One history. Now the centenary of the conflict has passed, we're looking at the years immediately after the war. Many memorials were unveiled then, as people remembered all those who died.
In Penponds, the War Memorial is unusual in that it is in the fabric of the church i.e. the porch, rather than outside.
It was designed by Canon James Sims Carah who was vicar of the parish from 1896 to 1935. Canon Carah, a local man, was responsible for the impressive oak carvings, windows and bench ends in the church today. Originally the building, consecrated in 1854, had a stark and plain granite interior.
Canon Carah, who grew up in Praze, had a vision of something very different. He worked tirelessly to create a building with a splendid fabric and interior, very much in a High Church tradition.
The porch, dedicated in December 1922, was part of this. Canon Carah explained at the time.
The idea was to turn ‘the present porch, as far as possible, into a sort of chapel commemorating all those who gave their lives for us,” he told the local paper.   A total of £300, a large sum at the time, was raised to create it - the equivalent of about £10,000 today.
It was intended to commemorate not only men from Penponds who died in the conflict, but also those who died who were connected in any way with the church and congregation. There are names of men who were studying at Camborne School of Mines, as well as those from local families.
The whole of the main porch was relined in granite in which were inserted four panels of Swedish marble, inscribed with the names of those who died.
Above the marble are carved panels of polyphant stone (also known as ‘Cornish soapstone’). One panel is called ‘The Great Sacrifice’ and has the inscription ‘No man has greater love than this’.
The other shows St Edward, St George and St Michael, said to be the guardian saints of soldiers.
On the roof in gold letters there are the words ‘Lord who dost our souls redeem, Grant blessed Requiem.’  All the work was done locally – apart from the stone carved panels which were sent away to be completed.
A new gate to the porch was made of wrought iron and a new lamp was donated by a Miss Holman (sadly this has since been stolen).  The Holmans were a rich and influential family locally at the time.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

A glimpse of Cornwall in the National Poetry Library

I'd never been to the National Poetry Library and didn't even know it was in the Royal Festival Hall. But it's worth a visit, particularly to see the current exhibition - a recreation of W. S. Graham's study, the poet who was based in west Cornwall and died in 1986.  Irritatingly, the exhibition is short of any biographical detail or explanation so I'm not quite sure where W S Graham lived (though a Google search says Madron).
But the study that's been recreated looks out on to Gurnard's Head, quite a view. And there is a lovely poem in memory of his friend, the artist Peter Lanyon (killed in a gliding accident), on the wall.
More here.
I called today, Peter, and you were away.
I look out over Botallack and over Ding
Dong and Levant and over the jasper sea.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

St Piran’s Day in Hammersmith

Fantastic to see the Cornish flag flying in Hammersmith this morning. This is the very flag that travelled with Camborne Youth Band on their historic trip to the World War One battlefields in France and Belgium last summer.
A huge thank you to the St Peter's Square flag association for hoisting it.

Susan Roberts
Bridging Arts
Tel: 07772 128 014

Monday 4 March 2019

Newlyn artist and horses in World War One

A rare opportunity to see paintings by Alfred Munnings at the National Army Museum.  Most of these paintings of men and horses in action in World War One are usually in Canada, in the Canadian War Museum. Munnings was an official war artist, painting the Canadian Expeditionary Force in action.
He went out to the Western Front late in 1917. In the years before that, he had been in Cornwall, one of the Newlyn colony of artists. The then vicar of St Hilary, Bernard Walke, talks fondly of him in his memoirs (published in the early 1930s).
The colours of Munning's paintings are bright and vibrant, very much the palette of the Newlyn-based artists painting scenes of Cornwall and the sea. One of his war paintings in the collection is of a cow (in the Jura).  Munnings, famed for his studies of horses, remarks that he had once bought a cow in Cornwall to study as a model and it had proved one of the best investments he had ever made.

We're hoping to continue our project, Heart of Conflict, in Cornwall marking the centenary of the end of World War One. We're waiting to hear if we have funding to take the work further.

Friday 1 March 2019

British Sari Story Education Pack

In 2019, we'll be working with schools in the UK and in France - so we've been taking a look at the various Education Packs that we've produced over the years. The British Sari Story Education Pack has always proved very popular. It's still fresh and full of ideas.  Click here to read more.
Our project, The British Sari Story , looked at the sari in Britain in 2007, the 60th year after Indian independence. We ran a competition for young designers to create new patterns for this iconic Asian garment that reflected contemporary life in this country. We staged an exhibition, national competition and educational workshops exploring traditions, heritage and identity.  Click here to find out more.

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