Tent Talk II: Creative practice, photography and the land

21 July 2024

Although the village [St Martins] has changed considerably in my time, the farms have changed little. Small farms have been taken over. Systems have changed, some intensifying, some extensifying. Some still milking cows, some no longer milking cows. Some diversifying, some concentrating on their core business. Many letting part of the farmhouse to self-catering visitors. BUT

The Blee’s still farm Trenower.
The Bray’s still farm Tregevis.
The Bryant’s still farm Sworne.
The Hosken’s still farm Gear.
The Jenkin’s still farm Mudgeon.
The William’s still farm Tretharrup.
                                                                     –  Brindley Hosken, Up Long Meadow (2023)

The Lizard peninsula is a rural region with an ancient history of farming that is reflected in the large proportion of land that is still being worked today. Kestle Barton was a working farm until Boaden Lyne retired in 2005 and it took on our current multi-purpose identity.  As a venue we are committed to incorporating the question of land use into our programme, and to creating opportunities to discuss relevant concerns for those living in, and visiting, our surrounding area.

The Anthology of Rural Life project that Colin Robins & Oliver Udy have been collaborating on for over a decade has been one such opportunity. Their exhibition: Anthology of Rural Life – Farmers of The Lizard (15 June – 1 September, 2024) is a photographic survey of families and individuals involved with the land. They have made over twenty new portraits of farmers on The Lizard that are juxtaposed in the gallery with photographs that they have taken in Europe. This show offers a visual insight into the lives of many different people, in many different places, that are living in rural areas and have relationships to the land they live on.

To accompany this exhibition, we have organised a series of Tent Talks to take place in a large marquee in our meadow on the weekend of 20-21 July. These talks are free to the public and all are invited to come discuss the timely themes they will be focused on:

Tent Talk I: Food systems, farming and land use is on Saturday 20 July from 11am – 5pm. Click here for more details of this day.

Tent Talk II: Creative practice and the land is on Sunday 21 July from 11am – 5pm.


Tent Talk II: Creative practice and the land
Sunday 21 July from 11am – 5pm.

In response to the exhibition, and the new work made on the Lizard Peninsula, the day will include a series of discussions around the relationship between photographers and the land.

Speakers include Colin Robins + Oliver Udy (ARL), Jem Southam, Joanne Coates, Oli Raymond Barker, William Arnold and Jo Bradford.

St Keverne Band will also be performing The Worm Forgives the Plough, 2024 by Georgia Gendall. Composed by Seamas Carey and arranged by Freddie Hodkin.

With a range of practices represented, the speakers will discuss their approach to making work about the land, and the communities that are interwoven around it.

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This event is in collaboration with Falmouth University, University of Plymouth, Falmouth Art Gallery and the Museum of Cornish Life, Helston.

Generous funding has been provided from the Cornwall Community Foundation with thanks.

    Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:30am - 5pm. Closed Mondays but open for Bank Holidays