In Search of the Miraculous

Newlyn Art Gallery 27th June – 19th September 2015


In Search of the Miraculous is an exhibition of international artists, inspired by and marking the 40th anniversary of the voyage made by Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, who set sail alone in July 1975 in a 12½ foot dinghy Ocean Wave from Massachusetts to cross the Atlantic to Falmouth, Cornwall, disappearing en route.

In Search of the Miraculous includes artists who have not necessarily taken direct influence from Bas Jan Ader but have made works that have a yearning for the sublime, a playful pursuit for new experiences and journeys, or a romantic contemplation of the sea and what may lie beyond the horizon.

The exhibition is primarily photography and film and includes Francis Alys, Game Over, Chris Burden, Ghost Ship, Mat Collishaw, Blind Date, Simon Faithfull, 0.00 Navigation, Andrew Friend, Device for Experiencing Lightning Strike, Gunnar Jónsson, Hringsól, Antti Laitinen, Its My Island, Jessica Ramm, Listening Beyond The Horizon, and Guido van der Werve, Nummer Acht:Everything is going to be alright.

Matt Collishaw made a blindfolded trip from London to Madrid to view Velasquez’s painting Las Meninas for exactly three minutes, then returned blindfolded (Blind Date, 2000, video projection). Francis Alÿs made the decision to drive an old VW Beetle into a tree, commenting afterwards “… in that lapse of those final 65–50–35–20–10 feet, the absurdity of the human condition became so glaring to me, so absolute.” (Game Over, 2011, video). Jessica Ramm’s Listening Beyond the Horizon is a search for the unknown; a solitary figure perched in a gothic mountainscape, (2013, photo etching on zinc plate).

Simon Faithfull’s journey obsessively follows the meridian as the only possible path; fences climbed, properties crossed, streams waded, hedges crawled through till he re-enters the sea continuing north (0.00 Navigation, 2009, video), while Gunnar Jónsson directed a fishing boat to circle seemingly endlessly in the sea; utterly futile but mesmerizingly beautiful (Hringsól, 2012,video).

Guido van der Werve’s Nummer Acht: Everything is going to be alright (2007, 16mm to HD video) shows the artist striding ahead of an icebreaker like a 21st century version of Caspar David Friedrich’s intrepid explorers in the painting The Sea of Ice (Das Eismeer). Andrew Friend, like 19th-century scientists who physically put themselves at risk exploring the power of nature, created a Device for Experiencing Lightning Strike which he set up on a Cumbrian mountain (2010, photograph).

Chris Burden took the concept of the solo yachtsman to the extreme level with a crewless, self-navigating sailing boat that took to the seas utterly alone (Ghost Ship, 2005, video and documentation). Antti Laitinen playfully set out to sea on his own primitive vessel (Bark Boat, 2008, photograph) and created his own island (It’s My Island, 2008, videos on 3 monitors).

In Search of the Miraculous is at Newlyn Art Gallery 27th June – 19th September 2015.

Throughout the summer In Search of the Miraculous will provide inspiration for a variety of poets, musicians and performers in a number of public events. As part of the exhibition, a flotilla of small vessels with an eclectic crew of experienced skippers with artists and young people, many who may never have been to sea before, will make a day’s sail from Newlyn to Falmouth.

For further details please visit Newlyn Art Gallery or telephone 01736 363715.

Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ

Penzance Celebrates St Piran’s Day


There was glorious sunshine in Penzance this morning as, in a change of route from previous years due to St John’s Hall undergoing extensive refurbishment, the St Piran’s Day Parade got underway from the top of Causewayhead.

Led by Penzance Mayor, David Nebesnuick and Cornish Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, the parade, which included various dignitaries and hundreds of schoolchildren from the local area, wound its way from Causewayhead to Market Place and then onto Morrab Gardens.

Music from the Golowan Band and Newlyn School amongst others added to the tremendous atmosphere and, once everyone had gathered in Morrab Gardens, the Penzance Guize Dancers performed a traditional Cornish dance on the bandstand.


Following an introduction from David Nebesnuick, Cornish Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller gave a rousing speech to the assembled masses.  From the obvious delight at Cornwall achieving minority status to the uncovering of St Piran’s Oratory, Ms Fuller’s speech also noted the Gorsedh Kernow “Do Something for Cornwall” Challenge. The challenge is about using your skills to help others – for example, raising money for a Cornish charity.


Events in Morrab Garden drew to a close with the singing of “Trelawney” before the parade started back to the centre of town.

You can learn more about Gorsedh Kernow and the “Do Something for Cornwall” Challenge by visiting the Gorsedh Kernow website.

To see more photos from the 2015 St Piran’s Day in Penzance please visit our Facebook Gallery.

Penlee Lifeboat Station Fundraising Appeal


The crew at Penlee need your help to build a new Lifeboat Station.  The current lifeboat station was built in 1983 and comprises office space, crew room and a small crew changing area.  Unfortunately, now 31 years on, the station is no longer fit for purpose.

With around 25 volunteer crew and additional shore crew as well as fundraisers, there is an urgent need for more space.  The small crew changing room can see anything up to 10 volunteers changing at any one time and is simply not adequate.


A dedicated crew training room is now essential as fewer RNLI crew are coming from maritime backgrounds and need access to an appropriate environment in which to complete the continuous training required in order to operate the charity’s state of the art lifeboats and navigation systems.

Subject to planning permission, the new station will be rebuilt on the site of the existing boathouse.  It will be a two storey building – twice as long as the current station – and will include a larger crew changing and shower room, a galley area and larger crew room where they can rest and get warm after a shout, a dedicated office, a visitor attraction and a separate training room.  The training room will be available  for use by groups in the local community working and training in the maritime area such as MCA, sea scouts etc.

England rugby player, Jack Nowell, recently paid a visit to Penlee lifeboat station to show his support for the new appeal. Jack grew up in Newlyn and could see the lifeboat launching from the station from his window.

To support the appeal you can donate online via Virgin Money Giving or, for more information contact Guy Botterill, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager – 07774 436265 –

You can follow Penlee Lifeboat Station on Twitter and Facebook.

Newlyn Arts Festival in the Studio Café, Newlyn Art Gallery


As part of 2014’s Newlyn Arts Festival, four artists took up residence in the village, creating work in various locations including The Fishermen’s Mission.  The work, or documentation of their residency, is exhibited in the Studio Café at Newlyn Art Gallery.

From 27 January 2015 to 7 February 2015, the exhibited artist is Faye Dobinson with “All at Sea”.

Faye spent her residency sketching, talking and finding out about navigation from fishermen at The Mission.  She listened to their tales and made small art works, ten of which were sent off in bottles (akin to a ‘message in a bottle’).  The work was sent out with the fishermen who threw the art from their boats at a point they believed would give the bottle the best chance of it travelling furthest afield.  Faye will present some of her artworks and documentation relating to her residency.


From 10 – 21 February 2015, the exhibited artist is Biljana Lipic with “Fishermen’s Hands”.

During her residency, using photography, Biljana observed and attempted to ‘catch’ the Newlyn fishermen’s individual characters and life stories, as embodied through their hands.  She moved about the village to find the fishermen in their working and leisure environments.  Her goal was to show in as personal and intimate way as possible, the work and the lives of these men who are also some of our last hunters.

Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ

Call 01736 363715 or visit the website.

Studio Café and shop at Newlyn Art Gallery are open Tue-Sat, 11am – 4pm, free admission, donations welcome.

The galleries are now closed for maintenance work, reopening on Saturday 21st March 2015 with Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014.

Then and Now Exhibition – Penlee House Gallery & Museum


“Then and Now”, an exhibition of local photographs, is currently on display at the Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance.  Curated by the Penlee Photographic Research Group and sponsored by the Queens Hotel, it follows the trail of a visitor to the area in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The series of photographs start at Penzance Railway Station, proceeds to the Queens Hotel and then takes us on various excursions to the surrounding area.  On display are photographs taken by Gibson, Frith, William Colenso and a wonderful selection by Geraldine Underell which were donated to Penlee House.

The Penlee Photographic Research Group have followed in their footsteps and taken pictures of many of the locations as they are now.  Newlyn, Mousehole, St Just and Zennor are just a few of the areas visited and, although places have obviously changed and buildings have been demolished and rebuilt, it is surprising how instantly recognisable many of the locations still are.


The black and white photographs are stunning and personal favourites are “Sea Dreams”  and “Pat A Cake” taken in Mousehole in the 1940’s by Geraldine Underell.

The exhibition runs until 21 March 2015 and a visit is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of their local area.

More information about the exhibition and other events is available from