The Groundwork season of international contemporary art in special locations across West Cornwall unfolds from May to September 2018. 

For more information visit 

With a focus on place and an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, the Groundwork programme presents new commissions made in Cornwall, together with existing works by internationally acclaimed artists including Francis Alÿs, Manon de Boer, Janet Cardiff, Adam Chodzko, Tacita Dean, Andy Holden, Rosemary Lee, Sean Lynch, Christina Mackie, Steve McQueen, Steve Rowell, Simon Starling, Semiconductor and Laureana Toledo.

Exhibitions in May

CAST, 5 May – 3 June

Steve McQueen’s film Gravesend, exploring the mining of coltan, the mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops, will be shown in a specially constructed black box projection space at CAST, with Unexploded, made by McQueen when he was sent to Iraq as a war artist and filmed – from multiple perspectives – a crater left by an unexploded bomb in a building in Basra.

Helston Museum, 5 May – 3 June

Including new footage shot in Cornwall, Sean Lynch’s video work What Is An Apparatus initially appears to be a collection of somewhat ludicrous encounters with nuclear submarines, postmodern architecture, robots, scrapyards or supermarkets, but it gradually becomes apparent that Lynch’s stories are generated as a result of living in an increasingly technocratic world. By contrast, his film Latoon narrates the story of a successful campaign to divert a €90 million road scheme to preserve a fairy bush in County Clare. Lynch’s work is presented in the old school room at Helston Museum, amongst collections of artefacts from the town’s working history.

Goonhilly Earth Station, 5 May – 3 June

Artist duo Semiconductor are making a new moving image work for Groundwork. As the World Turns questions how we experience nature through the language of science and technology, combining video footage filmed at Goonhilly Earth Station with scientific data acquired through the process of radio astronomy. ‘As the World Turns’ will be shown with Simon Starling’s Black Drop, a single screen film projection that tells the story of the relationship between astronomy, photography and the beginnings of moving image technology. The Goonhilly site brings with it a sense of its own history – of achievements gained and the promise of future endeavours, and of nature and technology co-existing. 

Kestle Barton, 5 May – 8 July

Manon de Boer’s new moving image commission Bella, Maia and Nick (From nothing to something to something else, Part I), will be presented in the gallery at Kestle Barton. Filmed at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, the work portrays three local music students experimenting with new sounds and rhythms, continuing de Boer’s fascination with the importance of ‘open time’ in providing the conditions for creation.

National Trust Godolphin, 5 May – 24 June

Christina Mackie’s The Judges II, an installation inspired by the rock formations of New South Wales and by ideas of geological, mythical and personal time, will be presented in the Kings Room at National Trust Godolphin.

Richmond Chapel, Tolver Place, Penzance, 25 May – 27 August

Janet Cardiff’s acclaimed sound installation Forty Part Motet (2001) is presented at Richmond Chapel in Penzance, a former Wesleyan Chapel and Grade II listed building.

Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts, 31 May – 3 June

Tacita Dean’s 16mm film Event for a Stage (2015) will be presented over four days at Falmouth University’s performing arts centre, AMATA.


Special, one-off events will take place throughout the unfolding programme, announced in e-newsletters and on the Groundwork website:

CAST will be the hub for Groundwork activity and CAST Café will be open for extended hours over the opening weekend.

Groundwork is organised by CAST in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives.

Thursday 31 May 2018 Groundwork runs from May - September 2018