The Fish Factory Art Space was established in May 2011 by Rose Hatcher to provide a much needed social and cultural hub for the local artistic community. With little experience, a big idea and a lot of help from friends we transformed an old fishy warehouse into a thriving gallery and artist studios. Since then it has changed and grown year by year to become an integral part of the Cornish art scene and an essential resource in the Falmouth/Penryn area.
The Fish Factory team are very active organisers and have been responsible for many arts projects over the past six years, not only on site but all around Cornwall. There have been over 100 exhibitions, 50+ concerts and yearly festivals including International Women’s Day and Black History Month (also including projects in St. Ives, Redruth, Truro, Penryn and Helston). Fish Factory partnerships maintain an international element, working regularly on exchanges with arts groups in Gdansk (Poland), Le Havre (France), Stöðvarfjörður (Iceland) and Berlin (Germany).
"Over the last 6 years the Fish Factory's anarchic artist-led output and the space it has provided for experimentation, exhibition, and studios have made a unique and vital contribution to the local arts. We're excited by the possibilities of it's future in Penryn!" - Field Notes
After six years at Falmouth Wharves providing workspace, exhibition opportunities and community engagement for local and visiting artists, the Fish Factory Art Space has sadly outgrown the current vision for Falmouth Wharves. But not to fear, we have now found a new and exciting premises to continue its important work.
The Fish Factory will leave its home at Falmouth Wharves this winter. We need your help to secure our new long term home on Commercial Road in Penryn. We have a grand vision to convert the new premises so we can continue to provide affordable studios and workspace for local artists and international visitors. We’d also like to open a new shop, cafe and gallery for socially engaged and experimental artwork and events.
We have found a space to move to which will have a fifteen year lease, disabled access, much improved transport links and is within the heart of the creative town of Penryn. We are crowdfunding for funds to cover the deposit, moving costs and refurbishment. Beyond these costs, our business plan is sustainable and embedded in community spirit and the enormous demand for what we provide in our local area.
The Fish Factory currently incorporates artist workspace with flexible and open project space, housing twenty-one working artist’s studios including a pottery kiln, a darkroom, a gallery, community room and event space. It brings together people of all ages and from all walks of life in a vibrant artistic community. Studio residents are local painters, illustrators, mixed media, installation artists, graduates, printers, potters, writers and more.
Flexible, affordable workspace makes
amazing projects happen
We have worked very hard to build and grow the Fish Factory with no core funding but with a lot of good will and creative thinking. We believe strongly that an independent gallery and workspace can attract international artists, new ideas and provide a place where local emerging artists can thrive. We are now reaching out to our community to support us through this move. We have set up a Community Interest Company, Fish Factory Arts CIC, to formalise our commitment to our artists and audience.
Our remit is to support local artists and make space for community groups and experimental projects. We actively encourage diversity and inclusivity. We are interested in hearing marginalised voices and hidden histories. We intend to continue with the help of our splendid volunteers to provide an atmosphere of creative productivity into the next decade and beyond.
Thank you for your interest and support in The Fish Factory relocation project and we look forward to welcoming you soon to our new rejuvenated Fish Factory in Penryn, Cornwall.
"As an artist with social anxiety, moving to Cornwall and knowing I had to immerse myself in an alien arts scene was daunting but I need the arts to help me overcome anxieties. When I went to the Fish Factory, I instantly felt connected with people - it's not just a fantastic arts space, it's a supportive community. Thanks to this, I have been able to make opportunities for myself I didn't think possible - such as showing work at Tate St Ives and Newlyn Art Gallery. The new space will enable more grass-roots community activity thanks to plans such as a new cafe. Cornwall needs spaces like this so that people can come together for cultural and social fun." Matt Ashdown - Studio resident
What will the money be spent on?
- Deposit and first months rent
- Moving costs, searches etc (as this is a 15 year lease we need to make sure we have a secure tenure)
- Refurbishing the new building - adding partitions, paying an electrician and plumber, painting and decorating
- Checking and updating our equipment - projector and sound gear, photography studio and printing facilities
- A big van and help with moving all of our stuff
Workshops & Events in Our New Space:
Book in for a great time in the new Fish Factory - AND help us move!
Saturday 13th January - Lino Printing with Lee McIntyre. Learn how to do basic lino printing - create your own prints on paper. All materials included.
Saturday 27th January - Pinhole camera workshop with Stuart Robinson. Learn how to make and use your own pinhole camera in the new Fish Factory darkroom. All materials will be provided.
Saturday 3rd February - Collage workshop with Camilla Stacey. Come and learn about the history and craft of collage with Camilla. A Saturday afternoon spent cutting, sticking, learning and chatting. Tea, cake and all materials included!
Saturday 17th February - Live Demonstration with Chris Odgers. Live Demonstration with Illustrator Chris Odgers - learn the technique of 'oiling back' using oil paints - watch Chris work plus Q&A