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What’s on this week in Cornwall?

Super-cool exhibitions, live comedy and aviation photography - it's all going on this week as we hurtle towards October.

NEW! MUSEUM OPENING: Bodmin Jail, Bodmin (1 Oct)

The big one this week is the long anticipated re-opening of Bodmin Jail, billed as the most exciting new attraction in the South West since the Eden Project after an £8.5 million re-development. Using state-of-the-art technology and the latest theatrical effects, the Dark Walk – a major addition to the attraction and the first of its kind in the region – will treat visitors to a truly immersive and interactive discovery of Cornwall’s most haunting histories. Stories of Cornwall’s murky past will be retold, and visitors will be transported to life within the walls of the 18th century prison where they will learn the gritty reality of smuggling, mining and the everyday hardships of the jail’s most infamous prisoners. If that wasn’t chilling enough, Bodmin Jail is also home to the only working execution pit in the country and delves into the myth of the terrifying Bodmin Beast. We’ve wangled a sneaky preview, so look out for our review soon!

MUSIC: Flats and Sharps, The Acorn, Penzance (1 Oct)

Flats and Sharps are a four-piece energetic, enthusiastic and spirited bluegrass outfit from Penzance, Cornwall.

COMEDY: Kernow King, Minack Theatre (2 & 3 Oct)

The star of BAFTA-winning film, Bait, returns to Cornwall this October with his Greatest Hits show.

EVENT: Aviation photography, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay (3 Oct)

If you (or your partner) are in to planes or aviation photography, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF St Mawgan in Newquay is organising a photography event offering both day and night time access whilst the centre is closed to the public to allow photographers to seek out unique photos of the planes. Definitely a niche event, but sounds good if planes are your subject of choice. Booking essential.

EXHIBITION: The Vanity of Small Differences – Grayson Perry, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange (3 Oct 2020 – 2 Jan 2021)

Grayson Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, tackling subjects that are universally human: identity, gender, social status, sexuality, religion. 

Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress six tapestries, each measuring 2m x 4m, chart the ‘class journey’ made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells, and The Cotswolds for the television series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012. 

In the series Perry goes on ‘a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain’, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century paintings.

EXHIBITION: New Landscape Paintings, Tremenheere Gallery (until 3 Oct)

Last chance to see New Landscape Paintings at Tremenheere, where seven artists create a show about romantic contemplation, light, space and poetic transport. The exhibition features work by Richard Cook, Gareth Edwards, Anthony Garrett, Andrew Hardwick, Marie Claire Hamon, Michael Porter and Lucy Willow.

Tremenheere Gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm.

Image: @_anthony_garratt

EXHIBITION: Movements, North Coast Asylum, Newquay (until 14 Oct)

North Coast Asylum, Newquay’s newest art gallery situated in a grade II listed Gothic Church Hall which has been renovated into a brand new Art Gallery & event space opens with their first exhibition ‘Movements’ – a celebration of our landscape, sky & sea. It honours what is created through its many changing forms. Contributing artists include Nina Brooke, Jack Davis, Martha Holmes & Justine Eavis. Open Mon – Sat 10:30 – 4:30pm.

EXHIBITION: A Prehistoric Cornwall, Kurt Jackson, Jackson Foundation, St Just (until 7 Nov)

This autumn sees the launch of ‘A Prehistoric Cornwall’, the latest exhibition from Kurt Jackson, arguably one of Britain’s most celebrated living landscape painters. This body of work sees Jackson visit the relics of prehistoric Cornwall and captures the county’s extraordinary range of ancient monuments with a new series of paintings and sculpture. The landscape is full of these monuments, some are obvious and picturesque – a stone circle-while others are incongruous; hidden and overlooked despite their size and historical significance, cut-off and smothered by dual-carriageways, roundabouts and car dealerships.

‘A Prehistoric Cornwall’ is displayed beautifully within the award-winning Jackson Foundation gallery, an expansive carbon-positive ex-industrial building tucked away down a side street of the charming post-mining community of St Just-in-Penwith. Massive white walls and exposed black steel allow Jackson’s canvasses, as monumental as they are in their own right, space to breathe as the impressive 300m2 of polished concrete floorspace allow the viewer to become immersed in the artwork from a distance or inspect the minute detail up close.


MUSIC: Two Moors Festival, Wiveliscombe, Exmoor, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Oct

Classical music fans, rejoice! The Two Moors Fest has kept going despite the Covid crisis and sees St Andrew’s Church playing host to tea-time and night-time jazz from Misha Mullov-Abbado; pianist Elisabeth Brauss playing Scarlatti, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin; and Roderick Williams OBE and Christopher Glynn playing Schubert’s The Fair Maid.

THEATRE: Unlockoctoberfest, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, throughout Oct

The lovely Northcott is is unlocking it’s doors throughout October to allow audiences the chance to see some work-in-development. The festival kicks off with Northcott Associate Artist Jack Dean who is creating a narrative based computer game about who we want to be after the apocalypse entitled Great North Road. Internationally renowned choreographer Richard Chappell will also present a solo performance that will be developed into a full production next year. With electronic music, classical violin and extraordinary dance. The festival includes Starting from Scratch a night of five scratch performances from Northcott Emerging Artists and New Producers and, for an invited audiences only, performances devised by the Northcott Young Company about their experiences of Lockdown and what positive things they want to see and make as a result. A short film, When the Wheels Come Off, made in collaboration with the charity CEDA offers a powerful insight into disabled people’s experiences of lockdown.

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