The 2020 Garden Festival was this year held entirely online as a live streaming via the website, Facebook and Instagram, from 11am – 8pm on Saturday 19th September, offering a specially curated collection of content that was accessible online, and for free!
The programme included talks, interactive activities, roundtable discussions and short films. Dive into the plethora of activities and community initiatives beneath the Project’s umbrella below.
WE ARE ST AUSTELL
Short film (10m15s)
Now two years on from the first public workshops at Whitegold Festival in 2018, this short film is made as nearly 11,000 handmade tiles for the first public art commission for St Austell, the Cornish Honey Bee mural, are finally applied to the wall overlooking Biddick’s court.
A message from The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall: Edward Bolitho OBE on its completion, with SABEF’s chair James Staughton and the artists and volunteers who worked with the community to bring the Cornish Honey Bee into being, and talk about the importance of The Austell Project for the town and for Cornwall. Find out more here
AN INTRODUCTION TO CORNWALL’S FIRST WILDFLOWER CORRIDOR & PERENNIAL MEADOW GARDEN
Short film (14m41s)
Accompanied by sweeping aerial views of the meadow in bloom, landscape designer Darren Hawkes will introduce you to the 6,000-metre flourishing Wildflower Corridor and Perennial Meadow Garden creating a riot of colour along the gateway road into St Austell. Bordering the A391 and its roundabouts this project is the first of its kind in Cornwall having been initiated and led by the Austell Project in partnership with Cornwall Council and the National Wildflower Centre at the Eden Project. Find out more here
SECRET GARDENS 1: HELIGAN
Short film (1m53s)
The Austell Project is taking inspiration from, collaborating with and celebrating Cornwall’s horticultural roots to create a variety of greening initiatives. Three of St Austell’s garden attractions, Hidden Valley Gardens, St Blazey’s Gardens Cottage and The Lost Gardens of Heligan have agreed to give Digital Digging a virtual tour of their garden’s special places, secret spots and their gardeners’ favourite plants.
A film made by staff at Heligan is the first to be released on festival day. Find out more here
A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY: BUILDING PRIDE THROUGH CULTURE
Recorded round table discussion (31m10s)
Rooted in our communities, shaped by our landscape, we want to make St Austell a better place, socially, economically and environmentally. Michael Hawes from MeiLoci Landscape Architects, landscape designer Darren Hawkes and curator Alex Murdin talk about a helping people in St Austell to create their own unique sense of place through the work of the Austell Project. They talk about two key themes rooted in the fabric of St Austell’s heritage – horticulture and clay, which are intertwined in the ambitious long term plan which has been created by the communities of St Austell over the past few years. Find out more here
ESTABLISHING EDIBLE COMMUNITY GARDENS
Short film (10m27s)
Sometimes it can be hard for people to afford healthy, organic local produce and not everyone has a garden to grow their own.
Steve Skinner from St Austell Town Council talks with Duana Pearson from Edible St Austell about the idea that we can work together to grow tasty fruit for everyone, utilising community spaces and sharing our skills so that St. Austell can be a beautiful edible town; producing food for all residents to enjoy. Find out more here
FORAGING FILMS WITH NEVER MIND THE BURDOCKS
Short film (14m9s)
Regular on BBC Radio Cornwall and author of a series of foraging books ‘Never Mind the Burdocks: A Year of Foraging in the British Isles’, plant guru, gardener and artist Emma Gunn shares her top hints, tips and favourite St Austell foraging spots with Digital Digging. Be it urban park land, St Austell bay’s beaches or surrounding clay country, there are ingredients a plenty to find for your very own foraging feast.
‘The Meadows’ is the first location Emma takes us on for a digital foraging walk. Find out more here
Short film (2m46s)
Designer-architects Charlotte Moore and Maria Saeki from STUDIO.HOTmess share their plans and production for the first prototype tile intended to form part of a proposed ceramic tiled façade for a café on St Austell’s Fore Street designed to be able to support plant life, particularly local edible plants from the clay country.
See the HOTmesses call for recipes and common foraging plants on Instagram and Facebook as they begin to develop a foraging recipe book for the area. Find out more here
SECRET GARDENS 2: GARDENS COTTAGE
Short film (2m34s)
Episode 2 in the ‘Secret Gardens’ series is a behind the scenes tour of Gardens Cottage, St Blazey. Find out more here
GARDENERS’ QUESTION TIME
Recorded panel discussion (27m24s)
A panel of horticultural experts answer questions from amateur gardeners as part of the Garden Route’s online celebration of gardens. Subject matter could include how to encourage the Cornish bee and other wildlife or what type of plants like to live in the clay soil and coastal climate of St Austell’s gardens.
• Sam Corfield – renowned for his humorous take on fruit and vegetable growing, he is known for producing all kinds of weird and wonderful vegetable varieties whilst helping others grow in their own gardens, businesses and allotments.
• Founder member of the Cornwall Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society Ian Facey-Macleod is an expert in carnivorous plants, orchids and many other exotic plants.
• Sarah Daniel – who built Pengelley Plant Centre from a plot of land and five second-hand tunnels into an integrated nursery and garden centre, stocking thousands of plants from all corners of the globe. Find out more here
SECRET GARDENS 3: HIDDEN VALLEY GARDENS
Short film (4m04s)
Our ‘Secret Gardens’ series concludes with a tour of Hidden Valley Gardens, in bloom. Find out more here
BOTANY AND BEYOND: CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ST AUSTELL’S BIODIVERSITY AND THE HISTORIC CLAY INDUSTRY
Recorded conversation (19m10s)
When artist Robin Sullivan read that the 1km grid reference SX0753 that include the clay tanks at Par Moor Road, Carlyon is the most biodiverse area in the whole of Cornwall he just had to know more.
Robin’s research has led him to find out about increases in plant migration since global trading, how plants ‘hitchhiked’ with china clay trading ships and found an oasis to root within the industrial waste yet many of them disappeared a short while later.
In this conversation with Festival Producer Cat Radford, Robin draws parallels between his research, the politics of the terms ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ now and through history, and how he anticipates he will respond to these questions through his artwork.
We look forward to Robin sharing some of his findings with us and members of St Austell at the 2021 Green and Whitegold Festival where he’ll be offering a ‘hands on’ workshop imprinting plants in clay tiles. Find out more here
IMERYS: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION Short film (2m51s)
The world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry, Imerys delivers solutions (including China Clay from Mid Cornwall) to a great number of sectors from processing industries to consumer goods and building products.
Extracts from a short film produced by Imerys show how the company treat the economics of their business hand in hand with their responsibilities for the landscape. Find out more here
FORAGING FILMS WITH NEVER MIND THE BURDOCKS 2: KINGS WOOD
Short film (10m33s)
Emma Gunn takes us down to the woods in the second part of her foraging guide. Find out more here
GATEWAYS TO ST AUSTELL: APPROACHING ROUNDABOUTS AND ROADS
Nine roundabouts on key entrance roads into St Austell have been identified to become sites along the Garden Route set to host beautiful new horticultural installations – featuring biodiverse perennial plants, silver birch trees, specialist ceramic art commissions and street furniture that presents the town’s clay heritage. This podcast captures landscape designer Darren Hawkes talking about what inspires him as he develops his creative approach. Find out more here
FORAGING FILMS WITH NEVER MIND THE BURDOCKS 3: PENTEWEN SANDS
Short film (9m53s)
In the last leg of this foraging adventure Emma Gunn takes us down to the beach to see what edible delights we can find there. Find out more here
PLUG BACK INTO YOUR ROOTS: AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE FOR WINDOW INTO WHITEGOLD
Immersive film/sound score experience (10m11s)
Plug back into your roots for a little moment of clay country chill out.
Regardless of where you are in the world, or who you are with, plug into the live stream and disappear into cool greenery, tune into wildlife and immerse yourself in the turquoise clay lakes. Plug Back Into Your Roots combines video images, an original sound score from People String Foundation musician Ben Sutcliffe, songs and spoken word from Emily Woodman and Bec Appleby with gentle prompts and instructions to tell you some stories and take you on a wander with your feet or in your imagination to explore your surroundings. Wherever you are plugged in from, we guarantee you will be taken somewhere else for a while!
Visit the ‘Plug Back into your Roots’ page to learn about live performances taking place for small audience groups at Wheal Martyn on 19th September at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm. Booking for these live on site shows is essential to manage visitor numbers, and can be done through www.wheal-martyn.com/events. Find out more here
MATT DAVIS INSTALLS ‘TREMEN’
Short film (est. 10m)
On 18th September cutting edge ceramic designer Matt Davies is due to start installing his work in central St Austell and Window into Whitegold will be there to meet him and find out more about what he will be doing.
Comprised of tessellating ceramic tiles, reflective surfaces and bespoke lighting, Davis’s work will transform a covered passageway leading from Biddick’s Court into Fore Street, linking the town centre to the Priory Road car park.
We’ll take a few minutes of Davis’ time when installing his work to talk to him about the project, how it was conceived and designed and what it will look like when completed. Find out more here
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAY DOWN TO LOOK AT THE SKY?
Live radio broadcast (1h40m)
When was the last time you lay down to look at the sky? Is a radio broadcast that invites listeners on an audio journey from the bottom of the clay pits up into space – narrating local people’s stories along the way.
Throughout the day (un-timed interactive content):
Foraging afficiandos Emma Gunn (Never Mind the Burdocks) Duana Pearson (Edible St Austell) and the HOTmesses (STUDIO.HOTmess) have assembled to encourage your participation in the Edible Hinterlands project that hopes to gather information about locally foraged flora for inclusion in a community handbook of foraging fare, delicious recipes and a map of good searching spots in the St Austell area.
Watch out for instagram and facebook posts releasing foraging quizzes, revealing recipes in the hope you join in with your own.
Have you become a lockdown gardener? Has your garden had a lockdown makeover?
If you’ve developed lockdown green fingers want to show off your water features, newly laid lawns, overflowing lush flowerbeds or gin corners we’d love to include photos of them in the ‘Gallery of Gardens’ on the Austell Project website.
Horticulture experts joining St Austell’s very own Gardeners Question Time with a wander through the Gallery of Gardens on September 19, commenting on their favourite places.
Performance artist MC Teabag offered quick-fire virtual readings of your tea, in residency on Instagram throughout the day. It was available to all Window into Whitegold participants and followers – by simply sending a photo of your tea to @mc_teabag to learn what your future holds.(disclaimer: may be whimsical).