In May 2018, the Helston-based arts organisation CAST (Cornubian Arts and Science Trust) launches Groundwork, a season of international contemporary art in Cornwall, by internationally celebrated artists including Francis Alÿs, Manon de Boer, Adam Chodzko, Rosemary Lee, Sean Lynch, Christina Mackie, Steve McQueen, Steve Rowell and Semiconductor. Conceived as an exploration of place as a terrain of past, present and future human activity, Groundwork will present contemporary art projects from May to July, concluding with a programme of special events in September.

With an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, the programme will include presentations of important new commissions and acclaimed works at locations across West Cornwall including Par Beach, the Godolphin estate, Goonhilly Earth Station, Helston Museum, the Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Tremayne Quay, Kestle Barton Gallery, the CAST building in Helston and other venues to be announced.

Supported by funding through Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, CAST has developed Groundwork in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives, as a three-year programme of collaboration between artists, arts organisations and science-based institutions in Cornwall and beyond.

Teresa Gleadowe, Director of Groundwork said, ‘This season has grown out of collaborations and partnerships with a host of artists, institutions, organisations, schools and colleges in Cornwall and will provide exceptional opportunities to enjoy outstanding work by artists of international renown.’

A new film commission by Dutch artist Manon de Boer draws on her experience of attending master-classes at the International Music Seminar held annually at Prussia Cove; a moving image work by the Brighton-based artists Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) has grown out of their explorations of Goonhilly Earth Station on the Lizard peninsula and from meetings with the astronomers who plan to explore deep space using the old antennas on the site; and a new site-specific dance work by choreographer Rosemary Lee, developed in partnership with Dance Republic 2, will inhabit the vast expanse of Par beach, one of Cornwall’s most distinctive sites.

Groundwork will also present celebrated works including exceptional moving image works by Steve McQueen and Francis Alÿs presented in the CAST building, originally a Science and Art School; a sculptural installation by Christina Mackie in the King’s Room on the Godolphin Estate; Steven Rowell’s ongoing photographic investigation of trans-Atlantic telecommunications sites presented at the Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno; and a new film by Sean Lynch, partly inspired by recent visits to Cornwall.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said, ‘Our Ambition for Excellence fund is aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England. Groundwork is a great example of this in action; the project is a fantastic model for a large-scale event that will create new opportunities for the visual arts in a rural place.’

Further artists and works will be announced early in 2018, including a programme of field trips, music, screenings, talks and readings, many in places usually closed to the public.

In addition to funding from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund, Groundwork has received support from Freelands Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Quercus Trust, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Cornwall Council.