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What’s on this week in Cornwall?

Feasts, art exhibitions galore, theatre and even live music, plus the start of the halloween events - make the most of your week with my curated guide to what's on in Cornwall.

ART EXHIBITION: Newlyn Society of Artists: Edge of Dark, Tremenheere Gallery (until 1 Nov)

Untitled by Mike Thorpe 2016

The Newlyn Society of Artists presents ‘Edge of Dark’, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations which explore ideas of light and dark, curated by respected artist Jesse Leroy Smith.

For this exhibition, NSA members have been invited to consider themes around ‘Edge of Dark’ in any way they choose. Some have produced work which is abstract in nature, exploring line, colour, shape, light and shade. Some have looked at edges and tone in landscape, natural forms or figurative work, while others have created works which consider the issues facing our society in these challenging times. 

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

RAILWAY: Bodmin & Wenford Railway Open Days, Bodmin General (24-25 Oct)

No running passenger trains but visit the station, shop and cafe, explore the exhibition and view locos and coaches on display in platforms one AND two (for the first time). There will also be work taking place around the railway, with teams of volunteers busy as ever working on restoration projects visible from the platform including the Diesel Group on Saturdays and the China Clay Wagon Project team on Sundays. No need to book to visit in advance, suggested £5 donation.

ART EXHIBITION:The Vanity of Small Differences – Grayson Perry, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange (until – 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.

FOOD: Farm Suppers, Nancarrow Farm (24 October)

Nancarrow-Farm-April-Feast-Gatherings

Nancarrow Farm are inviting guests to enjoy a special feast from the comfort of their own picnic blanket on the farm, or one of their tables by the pond or in the barns. Book online, bring your own cutlery and crockery and Nancarrow will provide the fully loaded hampers delivered to your table – drinks available to purchase from the bar (it’s not BYO) and also, sorry, no dogs.

ART EXHIBITION: Landscapes, North Coast Asylum, Newquay (until 11 Nov)

Forever by David Hardy

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 continues with the exhibition ‘Landscapes’ – they have chosedn a purposely broad title to allow space for their artist’s practices, which includes work by David Hardy, Maxine Clements & Sarah Woods.

Open Mon – Sat 10:30 – 4:30pm.

THEATRE: Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, dates throughout October

Find outdoor theatre, music, comedy and opera at the stunning, world-famous Minack Theatre – in socially distanced fashion, of course. This week continues with Loveplay (14 – 23 Oct) – due to the intriguing sounding explicit topic of seduction, transaction and romantic aspiration that takes place on a single spot of ground across 2000 years, it is really only for older/mature teens and adults. Also worth noting that for kids, the excellent Horrible Histories are heading to the clifftop theatre for half term. Be quick though, as there are limited tickets.

THEATRE: Sterts Theatre on tour, dates throughout October

Entertaining shows for all the family from Sterts Theatre now on tour round selected Cornish venues showing some of their sell-out summer shows. This week catch Guys and Dolls at the St Mellion International Resort nr Saltash (22-25 Oct) and book for the BFG in Launceston next week (28-31 Oct).

WALK: Tin Coast Walking Tours (23 October)

Tin Coast Walking Tours offer three fun, unique and creative guided circular walks around West Penwith and the Tinners Way, visiting many fascinating and rare Cornish antiquities (each walk approximately 8 kilometres / 5 miles). Musician, Ben Sutcliffe from ‘The People’s String Foundation’ has teamed up with actor/storyteller Mary Woodvine to tell local myths and fables along the way. Booking essential.

HARVEST: Heligan Harvest, Lost Gardens of Heligan (until 1 Nov)

Celebrate the fruition of The Heligan Garden & Estate year with an exciting array of displays, demonstrations and autumn inspired menus.

ICE-SKATING: Eden Project (until 21 Feb 2021)

Cornwall’s biggest outdoor ice-rink returns to the grounds of the Eden Project this October – and due to Covid restrictions you’ll have even more space on the ice-rink itself this year, so plenty of space to practice your axels and spins. The cafe is serving up sweet treats too, just don’t forget your face covering to wear rink side. Pre-booking online is essential, and you’ll need a locals pass or to pay to access Eden itself too. Also on is Eden’s spooky halloweden activities – see more in our half term guide.

FILM: Rebecca, Netflix (21 Oct)

Not strictly speaking in Cornwall exactly but fans of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca have long awaited this modern film adaption, which launches on Netflix on 21 October. Manderley, once home to the eponymous Rebecca, is unmistakenly Menabilly, one of du Maurier’s Cornish homes, which still sits on National Trust land at Gribben Head where its remote location conjures up an elusive foreboding quality, often found in du Maurier’s novels.

THEATRE: Dead of Night Dis-dance, Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods (23 Oct – 1 Nov)

An immersive theatre adventure celebrating Halloween; a wickedly joyful treat for all ages in the sparkling dark heart of Tehidy Woods from Muddy favourite magical Rogue Theatre. Wander the winding woodland path and through Mr Logan’s gate into the land of the rapturously dead, where lost souls await, to show you the way, and mislead you to the Dead of Night Dis-Dance. Rest in the peace of the underworld forest and chill, as a collection of comic, ghoulish and ghostly stories come to life on Mrs Logan’s underworld stage! Booking essential.

MUSIC: Brother Sea, St Endellion (24 Oct)

South West based Celtic-folk band that brings together the acclaimed duo Harbottle & Jonas, with the award winning song writer Kris Lannen and the haunting Celtic tones of Annie Baylis on fiddle. All tickets come with pre-release download of Brother Sea’s new single, September.

FOOD/MUSIC: Autumn bonfire feast, Trefresa Farm, Rock (24 October)

Head chef of the St Kew Inn, Andi Tuck, joins forces with the crew from Porthilly Spirit Festival to create an autumnal bonfire feast featuring wood fired cooking and an acoustic music set from singer/songwriter George Ogilvie – tables pre-booked only, max 6 per booking.

ART EXHIBITION: Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors, The Tate St Ives (opens 24 Oct) 

The largest UK exhibition to date by South Korean artist Haegue Yang opens at The Tate St Ives late October, the first exhibition to take place across both the award-winning top-lit gallery in the new building and the spectacular sea-facing gallery in the original building. The exhibition brings together new and existing works spanning installation, sculpture, drawing, collage and painting. Haegue Yang is renowned for creating immersive environments from a diverse range of materials. Her sculptures and installations often use industrially made objects, interwoven with labour-intensive and craft-based processes. These processes reflect pagan cultures and their deep connection with various seasonal ritualsin relation to natural phenomena. The context of St Ives, and the Cornish landscape and its ancient archaeological heritage are important points of inspiration.

ART 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.

HARVEST: National Trust, Cotehele online Apple Festival

Book in advance to visit this fabulous property and its orchard including helping with the apple harvest, as well as join in online for the apple based festivities.

Looking for halloween ideas – you’ll need our screamingly good halloween goings on.

Further afield:

EXHIBITION: The Lost Words, RAMM, Exeter, Sat 24 Oct until Jan

Exeter’s RAMM is finally re-opening on Sat 24 October and oh my, this could not be a more beautiful way to return. The Lost Words is a collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, celebrating the relationship between language and nature and seeks to conjure the vanishing wildness back into existence through images and writing.

Find more ideas here

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