MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh (Mussel Gathering | Precious Fragments) will take place in Redruth in Cornwall, between June & October 2022.
It is a public sculpture project exploring contemporary Cornish cultural identity. Particularly considering the relationship of Cornish identity and culture with heritage, and extraction industries, including tourism.
Through podcasts, conversation and sculpture-making I will actively engage with people, seeking and recording their views on identity and Cornwall, and how what we discuss relates to broader contexts - historically, nationally and globally.
These discussions will be woven into a final sculptural installation that will be exhibited in Redruth during October 2022.
I am Cornish and care passionately about Cornish identity and culture, but I want to find out what others in Cornwall think & feel about this too. I've developed MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh to specifically do this.
Cornwall is England's only National Minority, a Celtic nation with an indigenous language, and historic networks that reach out to sea, but how does this relate to the contemporary identity of people who live and work here now.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Conversations are vital to this project, and will take place throughout. Issues of authenticity, fractured culture, the links between identity, land and labour, indigeneity, language and intangible culture, will be considered through the different elements of the project.
The project will include:
- 24 sculpture-making & conversation workshops taking place across Redruth
- a series of in-conversation podcasts
- a concluding live in-conversation with invited speakers and audience participation at Kresen Kernow, in partnership with Lowender Peran Festival
- an exhibition at Krowji, Cornwall's largest creative hub, Redruth
The final public exhibition will present what is discovered, together with the objects made at the workshops, in a large sculptural installation. When the exhibition closes contributors will be invited to take a fragment of the sculpture home if they wish, before the installation is dismantled and reused or recycled.
WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP?
This project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and funding from Redruth Unlimited has also been raised. These funds cover part of the project budget, but not all, to reach the full budget and for the project to be able to achieve its full potential I really need your help now.
This Crowdfunding will enable me to cover the following costs,
- £200 for Cornish Language translation for the website, publicity materials and legacy document
- £300 for printing and dissemination costs for publicity materials and the legacy document
- £350 for building materials for the final exhibition
- £600 fees for professional documentation of the project through photography and recording of the concluding live in-conversation.
- £300 fees for technical support to help me build the sculptural installation for exhibition.
WHO AM I?
As an artist, I often make sculptures out of found and recycled materials, and I love to invite conversation and participation in many aspects of my work. I have worked as an artist across the UK and internationally, my work is concerned with moments of change, the potential of an element or individual, and the possibilities of the collective - please take a look at my previous projects at sovayberriman.co.uk.
MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh has grown out of my experiences as a Cornish person and my previous work that has spoken about contemporary Cornish experience. In the early 1990s I co-founded Pennskol Kernow the campaign for a university in Cornwall, at that time I was also working with a group of fellow young women to set-up Truro Young Women’s Centre, a project aimed at supporting women between the ages of 16 & 23 who were experiencing homelessness. Through this work I was able to take part in the first Racial Equality Council conference at Cornwall County Hall to listen and think more expansively about cultural identity around the UK and globally.
More recently, in 2019, I co-produced Common Place: Art, Community & Social Change with Tonia Lu of Cultivator Cornwall. This symposium took place at Murdoch House in Redruth and looked at the relationship between art and gentrification. Following on from that symposium I want to create an art project that will involve a broad range of voices from all different parts of Cornish society. I want to locate it in Redruth because it is a town that I have a long relationship with, from childhood through to adult work life. So I have developed MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh.
MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT
MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh is my most ambitious project to date. I am employing the skills of a number of talented local and national specialists, who will support me to deliver the project and grow my skills so that I can deliver further ambitious projects in the future.
Community is integral to this project and I have already secured a wealth of generous in-kind support and collaboration from local people and organisations including, Ellie Allen of Splann, Jowdy Davey & Lowender Peran, Falmouth University Falmouth Campus, Kresen Kernow, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek, Gorsedh Kernow, Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, Kath Buckler, Alice Mahoney & CMR, ButCH/*, and Cornwall Council Cornish Language Office
The workshops will be led by myself at different venues throughout Redruth. Some will be drop-in, some dedicated to specific community groups. Participants will make small sculptural objects from waste material, such as old packaging and repurposed cloth. Alongside the making, there will be conversation around the themes of the project, the ideas that are raised in the podcasts and our views and thoughts on Cornish cultural identity. I will weave these objects into the larger sculptural installation to be exhibited in October.
The podcasts will see conversations among speakers whose research or lived experienced touches on the project themes. Confirmed guests include: Dr Stephanie Pratt ; Angeline Morrison; Angela Piccini and Kayle Brandon; Amanprit Sandhu, and Jowdy Davey of the Lowender Peran festival & Gorsedh Kernow. They'll be available via standard podcast platforms and through a dedicated webpage for the project.
Over the last weekend of the exhibition, and as a point of conclusion, there will be a public in-conversation on Saturday 29th October with an invited panel including oral history, place and nation researcher Dr Shelley Trower, and Angeline Morrison, chaired by Dr Angela Piccini of Association of the Unknown Shore and BuTCH/*.
Legacy: A limited edition of small palm-sized pocket sculptures will be cast from reclaimed copper and offered, on a first-come-first-served basis, to those who've contributed to the sculptural exhibition, creating a physical legacy, and reminder of the shared conversations. All contributors' names will be included in a printed document mapping the journey of these conversations and the pocket-sculptures.
Independent queer arts & heritage consultancy ButCH/* https://37looestreet.org/butch/ will formatively evaluate the project and produce a legacy document.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my project, I hope you will feel inspired to support MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh through this Crowdfunder appeal, and by spreading the word and sharing your support through conversations and social media.
I particularly hope to see you in Redruth at some point this year and look forward to making sculptures with you and talking about identity, heritage and tourism. I'll be posting updates about workshop dates and podcast recordings on this Crowdfunder page as well as across social media.
If you listen in or take part please don't forget to share your experience and tag the project #mesklabrewyondrudh #mesklakernow #meskla2022 #mesklacornishculture #brewyondrudh
Examples/samples of the rewards, colours may vary in final prints and editions.
A MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh working drawing
MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh enamelled pin badge, 45-50mm diameter, reward £18
MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh 50mm x 50m paper parcel tape, reward £14
MESKLA | Brewyon Drudh A6 postcard with personalised Kernewek/Cornish message, reward £7