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This month

October 2019


This month you can see this, erm, interesting painting and more like it at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange’s new exhibition A Tale of Mother’s Bones (19Oct – 4 Jan). A collaboration between surgeon Dr Grace Pailthorpe and artist Reuben Mednikoff the collection of over 90 works explores the duo’s experimentation with surrealism and pairs drawings and paintings with  psychoanalytic interpretation.

Meanwhile over at Tate St Ives, there’s a new advanced robotics installation, created especially for the gallery by inventor Thomas Duggan. The exhibition will feature Duggan’s new work using porcelain and robotics (pictured below), as well as new pieces created over the duration of the exhibit (19 Oct – 3 Nov).

Also at the Tate you can see Nigerian-born artist Otobong Nkanga‘s work in From Where I Stand, which showcases the performance artist’s vast portfolio as well as pieces created especially for the Tate (until 5 Jan).

Over in St Just-in-Penwith at the Jackson Foundation there’s a collection of contemporary artist Kurt Jackson’s work titled Frenchman’s Creek, a collection of paintings of the Helford River that famously inspired Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel of the same name (until 22 Feb).

For a bit of Cornish history there’s Creative Tensions: The Penwith Society of Arts 1949-1960at Penlee HousePenzance (above), an examination of the tension between the St Ives Society of Artists and the Penwith Society of Arts (until 16 Nov). Plus, it’s your last chance to check out From Cornwall to Korea at Leach Pottery – a collaboration of new works between Falmouth potter Michel Francois and Korean potter Young Gi Seo created during their recent joint-residency in Falmouth, Cornwall (until 27 Oct).

And finally, across the October half term Tate St Ives is hosting a hands-on workshop for families Tate Create: Picture My World, where kids can decorate the Foyle Studio with weird and whacky creatures (19 – 27 Oct).



Elasticated pants at the ready for the return of Nancarrow Farms’ 1000 Mouths festival, a weekender of feasting and festivities with street food, supper clubs and guest chefs set in the barns and surrounding farmland. This year marks Nancarrow’s 20th anniversary as an organic farm so celebrations are set to be bigger and better than ever (4 – 6 Oct).

And then there’s one of Cornwall’s largest food fests – Falmouth Oyster Festival – which celebrates the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of feasting, cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls (9 – 13 Oct).

If you’re a fan of the golden nectar you’re in luck this month with Falmouth Beer Festival held on Falmouth’s Events Square Waterfront (3 – 5 Oct). There’ll be live music, local singers, street food and, of course, a groovy booze line up of over 245 ales, 80 ciders, 20 Cornish craft beers (don’t worry 15 Cornish gins will be in attendance too!)

Elsewhere, in Truro, there’s the fifth Oktoberfest, a celebration of Bavarian culture with an Oompah band, German street food, music and 2 pint stein glasses. Don’t forget your Lederhosen’s (5 Oct).



Bucket hats and halternecks (er, maybe not) at the ready as The Big Nineties Festival is coming to Truro – 90s jams all evening under a festival big top, with big dance acts to be announced very soon (4 Oct).

Elsewhere, there’s Walk Scilly Autumn Weekend – a walking festival led by expert guides and local islanders with loads of different routes ranging from easy scenic routes to hikes. The festival kicks off on 10 Oct with music, lectures and more (10 – 14 Oct). And closing the month there’s Lowender Peran Festival, a Cornish music and dance festival in Newquay with a series of events celebrating Cornwalls Celtic roots (30 Oct – 3 Nov).


Pass the popcorn, top up the Pimm’s and definitely pack your anorak for Movies By The Moonlight at the iconic Minack Theatre, Truro (4 – 6 Oct). Showing at stunning the clifftop locale is Rebecca, written by Corwall’s own Daphne Du Maurier and re-imagined by Alfred Hitchcock and Jaws. And then there’s The Ocean Film Festival World Tour, showing at Regal Theatre, Redruth – a collection of brilliant short films about what lies beneath the ocean’s surface (9 – 11 Oct).

Image: a still from Children of the Unquiet

There’s also still time to see Mikhail Karikis’s speculative film Children of the Unquiet at Tate St Ives. Filmed with 45 children living in Devil’s Valley, Italy, the film explores the relationship between land, industry and community with the children taking over an abandoned village (until 5 Jan).



It wouldn’t be October without a handful of spooky events to endure, *ahem*, enjoy with the fam. Over in St Austell, The Lost Gardens of Heligan’s Halloween event The Good, the Bad and the Bugly! will have a Creepy Creatures Trail throughout the woods, plus a Halloween Yurt with live creatures and animals. There’ll also be games, crafts and workshops (19 – 27 Oct).

Meanwhile the Eden Project are celebrating Halloweden (see what they did there?) with more creepy crawlies, potion making, pumpkin carving and more (19 Oct – 3 Nov). Pendennis Castle in Falmouth is hosting Ghost Tours around the castle and grounds with storyteller guides. There’ll be family friendly tours from 6 and 7pm, or a scarier adult-only offering starting from 8pm (25 – 26 Oct).

There’s also spooky family theatre from Cowslip Theatre who’re pitching up at Carnglaze Caverns in Liskeard with their Halloween show Fly-by-Night (24 Oct). Plus Squashbox Theatre are performing their new show Shivers and Shadows in 11 Cornish venues across the county (20 Oct – 3 Nov).



The Fun Palace returns to Cornwall’s Regimental Museum this month with lashing of family fun and science-y activities. Kids can play games, create special effects wounds, become a DJ for the day and create Meccano models, all totally free (5 Oct).

Cornwall’s only indoor ice rink returns to the Eden Project (12 Oct – 23 Feb), or if you’re feeling adventurous you can abseil down the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (19 Oct). Funds raised will go towards supporting the museum and West Cornwall Search and Rescue Team, under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.



The seventh North Cornwall Book Festival kicks off this month with a programme of workshops, talks and seminars across the weekend (10 – 13 Oct). What’s so brilliant about this lit fest is that all the participating venues have an intimate feel (you won’t be sat squinting at the back of a lecture hall or theatre here). Authors on this year’s line up include children’s author Michael Morpurgo, Tracey Thorn (author of Another Planet), FT and Guardian journalist Adharanand Finn and more.

Poet, broadcaster & comedian Ian McMillan and Olympic composer Luke Carver Goss, above, are performing at The Acorn, Penzance, with their unique mix of spoken word, music, comedy, storytelling and music (4 Oct), or over in Truro at Old Bakery Studio you can see London based songwriting duo Ferris & Sylvester who’s music takes inspiration from the mid-60s sounds of Greenwich Village, blues, folk and indie-rock ( 8 Oct).

And finally, just over the border in Plymouth, at The Barbican, you can see the brilliantly titled WOMANS (like ROMANS but with a ‘W’!), a hilarious physical theatre production by Devonshire-based all-female arts company Scratchworks. Set in 44BC, Ancient Rome, the play explores the first female resistance (19 Oct).




Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.

Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.

Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.

Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.

And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!


THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov

The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.

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