Cape Farewell / University College Falmouth
2-12 April 2012, Core Building, Eden Project
Alex Storey / Bryony Stokes / Christine Borch / Freya Morgan / Henry Swanzy / Isabel Popple / Jan Nowell / John Fanshawe / Joshua Flatt / Katharina Walsh / Lucy Morley / Mark Perham / Peter Ward / Rebecca Freeman / Robert Crow / Saffron Orrell / Sam Hyde / Sonia Shomalzadeh / Sue Bamford / Sue Boafo / Tom Baskeyfield
HEVVA! HEVVA! showcases artwork by 21 emerging artists and designers from across University College Falmouth (UCF). This exhibition represents their creative response to a series of short, rural expeditions made round the landscapes of Cornwall in the context of climate change as part of Cape Farewell’s SHORTCOURSE/UK.
The title, HEVVA! HEVVA!, encapsulates the spirit of the journey the party made over those three intense days in an attempt to engage with and realise the localised effects of climate change through a series of discursive and interactive processes. The Cornish word ‘hevva’ recalls the roar once heard from the cliffs of Cornwall where a ‘huer’ on spotting a shoal of pilchards bluing the sea would call loudly to the fishermen.
An exclamation, a halloo from way off, but too a premonitory warning cry, HEVVA! HEVVA! frames a collection of artworks, text and performance that share a common genesis in place and environment, which in chorus looks to communicate an urgent message.
The artists in this exhibition have come full circle, returning to the Eden Project from where they began their expedition in Spring 2011. Students were given unique access to Eden where they were invited to spend a sweltering night in a cockroach infested rainforest biome deep within the clay pits of St Austell, only to then find themselves half-naked in the morning in a sweat lodge ceremony led by a Peruvian Ayahuascan shaman. The journey that followed saw them stray a few miles from their campus to pick dead birds from barbed wire and identify their wet headless corpses, and on to throw seed heads into cesspools bubbling up from the serpentine rock of the Lizard Peninsula. And farther afield, they sailed 30 miles from the mainland to the sub-tropical gardens of the Scilly Isles to hear of shifting winds and ocean currents that threaten the islands’ strangely un-English gardens.
The three days of journeying encouraged a psycho-geographical approach to investigating human relationships with both urban and natural landscapes. At each leg of the expedition students were joined by a number of specially invited artists, geographers, oceanographers and botanists whom together formed a formidable teaching staff and who willingly shared their expertise and insight.
This exhibition is archival in the sense that it presents itself as an environment in which artists, sharing a common experience, can respond collaboratively. But it also acts as a learning space where different kinds of information can be transferred via art to new audiences.
Cape Farewell’s SHORTCOURSE/UK is underpinned by an emphasis on an initial interaction with landscape, an engagement and outreach process using firsthand experiences to generate a response. Although some of the artists involved have chosen to respond directly to current ecological and environmental issues, many of the works in this show realise themes that reach beyond our concern for changing environments, yet they still remain integral to the collaborative process.
SHORTCOURSE/UK Cornwall was devised and developed by Cape Farewell together with University College Falmouth and the Eden Project. Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.