As part of Water and Stone a programme of illustrated talks took place in CAST’s black box screening space. This was introduced by Dr David Paton who also gave a talk entitled Bashing Granite, in which he discussed aspects of Cornwall’s granite quarrying practices, highlighting where the processes of extraction and masonry can be read in the tooling marks and forms that are distributed throughout the landscape and built environment.
Dr David Paton is Lecturer for BA Drawing and BA Fine Art at Falmouth University, an artist-researcher and a craftsperson specialising in Cornish granite. He has been a practising artist and stone sculptor since 1997, and for many years worked extensively on public art projects.
Soon after moving to Cornwall in 2005 David started working with Trenoweth Dimensional Granite Quarry near Falmouth, where his deep affinity for the material and people led him to start a PhD titled The Quarry as Sculpture: The Place of Making (2015). His doctoral project was the first practice-based PhD in the UK in Cultural Geography. Since 2016 David has been involved with the National Trust, where he has worked on AHRC-funded research on communicating conservation practices. In 2017 David participated in the Valley of the Saints project based in Brittany, and in May 2018 sailed his five-tonne granite carving of St Piran from Falmouth to Paimpol, after which it was installed as the 100th saint on the parkland site. At the same time, he was developing his research and explorations of granite through a project called Tracing Granite commissioned by CAST for Groundwork (2016-18). This resulted in an extensive field-trip project, original documentary film and new writing: groundwork.art/tracing-granite
The talk was documented by filmmaker Ollie Smith.
Water and Stone was supported by FEAST, Helston Town Council, Cornwall Heritage Trust and The Curry Fund. The project was also supported by Cornwall Council’s Community Chest small grants scheme, with individual grants from Councillors Guy Foreman (Helston South & Meneage) and Mike Thomas (Helston North).