As Cornwall comes back to life after Covid, Porthleven – the small but perfectly formed, famous for its food festival, balls and other must-see events – unveils its first-ever arts festival.
With over 60 events there is something for everyone, with exhibitions, art, workshops, music, poetry, performances taking place in venues across Porthleven from Saturday September 25 to Sunday October 3. It is about community, participation and, above all, celebrating art in all its many and diverse forms.
There will be the Salty Sisters swimming, music ranging from sailors chants to blues via a delightful classical music program in St Bartholemew’s Church and performed and thought-provoking poetry including a tribute event to the late Nick Hardcastle and a spoken word performance by Megan Chapman.
The Shipyard Market will act as a hub of workshops, inspiring visitors to create not only works of art (although many may be motivated by the Sip & Sketch events), but also a series of craftable and take-home items. at home, including garlands, art bottles, tote bags and paper palms.
The market will also host an Elements and Elementals exhibit on its art wall and with the help of festival-goers, Cornish community artist Silvia Causo-Garbutt will create a community installation of Porthleven paper cranes from colorful origami cranes. .
Kids of all ages receive a big thumbs up with inspiring art and writing workshops, a skate jam, and the urban games team’s incredible parkour performance on climate change on closing weekend. Mermaid Day, Saturday October 2, will feature a mermaid meet and greet and storytelling in the morning and a mass swim of around 20 mermaids in the harbor at 3pm.
Films screened at Breageside Net Loft include the local premiere of Son of Cornwall, the story of famous tenor John Treleaven, born in Porthleven, and a short film directed by swimming group Salty Sisters of Porthleven. There is also a screening of BAIT, the award-winning, Cornwall-made film about a fisherman without his boat, as well as films of local interest.
The University of Bath Spa and Falmouth University are hosting Sea Change, an evening of short lectures on the wonders and dangers of marine life and the environmental future, with bestselling author Philip Hoare.
Stroll through Porthleven and experience events in unexpected spaces, from the new Crow’s Nest (a new take on the traditional bandstand) to the iconic Bickford Smith Institute where Porthleven-based artist Paul Williams will create an exhibition and will refresh the exhibit in the courtyard of his Wreckers’ Studio on Loe Bar Road.
Visit the wall art mural being created at the Atlantic Inn and don’t forget the smallest of places: the old BT phone booth on Harbor Head where Nick Hardcastle’s poems can be heard via a phone from era.
The festival was created by Porthleven Arts Community, a community interest company supporting artists, innovators and creatives. His credo is that everyone should be able to experiment and create art. By weaving creativity into the fabric of her community, she encourages everyone to get involved and be inspired by art in one way or another.
Many events are free or only in the form of donations. The funds will go to Porthleven Arts CIC, to ensure that the festival becomes an annual event and that they can support more artistic projects in Porthleven.
Membership in Porthleven Arts Community is free. To find out more and participate, visit: www.porthlevenarts.com where you can also download a pdf program.