Dark Skies: Bright Stars creative heritage engagement project around Bodmin Moor – Mayes Creative

Dark Skies: Bright Stars brings together heritage partners and creative practitioners to explore the exciting history of astronomy in Cornwall. We are now completing our Deep Space phase, where we worked with Software Cornwall to develop and share a low-tech (but still incredibly clever!) Cosmic Ray (Muon) Detector. We delivered our Sterts Deep Space research and performance sharing of outcomes. We completed our 100 Foot of Deep Time film call and installed the work in our specially commissioned film pod, which has now completed it’s initial tour. Artist Joanna Mayes also installed our modified Cosmic Ray detector, in partnership with Creative Technologist Ben Chew, triggering changes to the films when cosmic ray events were detected. We are now completing our project evaluation.

Latest News…

Ancient Light: Mel King

100 foot of Deep Time film screenings 2018-19

Films commissioned as part of our Deep Time Film Call are now being shown in our sculptural Film Pod. Future screenings to follow.Click here for more details
Funded by Arts Council England, Feast & Cornwall Industrial Trust with support from LUX, Cinestar and Plymouth University

Deep Space Gallery of artist images now online

As part of our ‘Deep Space’ research and performance project, artist Andrea Carr is invited artists, makers and enthusiasts to contribute images which then transformed into costumes to be worn by our professional dancers as part of our Deep Space performance at Sterts on 21st April.

Images from our call can be viewed in our Deep Space gallery – click here to view – and we will soon be adding images of the costumes to which they contributed….


Deep Space at Sterts Theatre 2018

Thanks to everyone involved in putting on our amazing Deep Space performance event! It was a wonderful end to a really interesting and enjoyable research process, which involved music, choreography and live visuals practitioners all working with scientists and computer engineers to understand more about Deep Space and cosmic rays. Many thanks to Mike and Robert from Software Cornwall and Ben Chew for helping to make our cosmic ray (muon) detector dreams into interactive reality!
A taster of our music and visuals for our Deep Space performance this Saturday at Sterts theatre… A unique collaboration between jazz music, film and professional dance. We hope to see you there!

Dark Skies: Bright Stars and Deep Space…

Our Deep Space activities are now well under way, where we are extending our focus out into space, through learning about the presence of particles from Deep Space, know as Cosmic Rays, on earth. We have worked with Ian Falconer to develop the project and Software Cornwall have partnered with us to develop a simple cosmic ray detector, using a Raspberry Pi to process the information which we receive from the detectors, helping us to sift through the background radiation and spot the particles which have amazingly made it from the tumultuous activity in Deep Space all the way to earth!

 

We have now completed our activities in Penwith and Isles of Scilly

Navigation Heritage learning for Penwith Choirs

Pip Wright started her Navigation heritage songwriting project by leading an exciting navigation heritage workshop with people from the Penwith area, at Marazion Village Hall. 84 people turned out to learn about heritage navigation from local speakers and enjoy a cream tea!

Immersive Filmmaking workshop now completed

We were delighted to offer a special three day creative filmmaking workshop with visiting artist Robert Schaller responding to the dark skies, bright stars, neolithic sites and landscape of Penwith. A unique creative opportunity, not to be missed!

This workshop offered a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in an amazing landscape – Tregeseal Stone Circle is 15 minutes’ walk from our workshop base in the beautiful Cornish Cot Valley – using it as inspiration for your creative practice.We are now looking at continuing this series, with an immersive workshops next year on the Lizard Peninsula. Join our mailing list, or follow us on Twitter of Facebook to keep informed.

Vital Spark – congratulations to all involved

This was a wonderful evening full of creativity! We are very much looking forward to hearing more about how some of these new collaborations develop….thanks to everyone involved and especially to Lois Taylor for all the wonderful creative inspiration and to Carolyn Kennett for sharing heritage inspiration!

Deep Space: Creative research & cosmic rays

Our Deep Space activities are now well under way, where we are extending our focus out into space, through learning about the presence of particles from Deep Space, know as Cosmic Rays, on earth. We have worked with Ian Falconer to develop the project and Software Cornwall have partnered with us to develop a simple cosmic ray detector, using a Raspberry Pi to process the information which we receive from the detectors, helping us to sift through the background radiation and spot the particles which have amazingly made it from the tumultuous activity in Deep Space all the way to earth! Our artist-led performance at Sterts Theatre is now complete and we are looking at ways of extending the use of our Cosmic Ray Detector into controlling video playback. More on this later!

Image Credit: Paula Bolton; Goonhilly Artist in Residence

We were delighted to partner with Goonhilly and CAST/Groundwork to offer a special event last year. It was a wonderful chance to learn more about how artists work with science and to have a hands on experience of working with the Raspberry Pi mini-computer, followed by a chance to see the wonderful Groundwork film screenings of work by SemiConductor and Simon Starling. Goonhilly Artist in Residence Paula Bolton shared her experience of making work at the site, with an intro to Goonhilly & cosmic rays (the inspiration for Mayes Creative’s latest project) by Dr Kat Hickey, Business Development & Training Manager for Goonhilly & Robert Wiltshire, astronomer and Software Cornwall tutor. Thanks to our funders Arts Council England and Feast for helping to make this happen with support from Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, CAST and Software Cornwall. Click here for more info

Dark Skies: Bright Stars on Bodmin Moor now completed..

We have had a wonderful time working around Bodmin Moor, getting to know the wonderful astronomy heritage in the area and working with local communities. The Hurlers have been a highlight with our wonderful immersion weekend and adventurous dance and singing activities on the moor! For details of our Bodmin Moor activities, please click here.

We are planning to continue our exploration of astronomy heritage in Penwith and Isles of Scilly, who are also working towards a Dark Skies park bid…watch this space!

Astronomy Heritage

Brian Sheen from Roseland Observatory and Carolyn Kennett of South West Astronomy Heritage worked on their heritage research for the project; working out the best way to share what they know and continuing research into the life of John Couch Adams. John Couch Adams, Cornwall’s most important astronomer, co-discovered Neptune with Le Verrier in 1846.

We are also focusing on the Rev Haydon, who was head of Liskeard grammar school, and was part of the important longitude investigations in the 1700s.

Alongside these astronomy heroes, we are also enjoying learning more about The Hurlers stone circles at Minions, Bodmin Moor. These incredible circles are now investigated has having key relationships with both Orian’s Belt and the position of the sun at important times of the year (Equinox and Solstice).

Brian and Carolyn and working towards producing self-guided tour leaflets to help us all enjoy the astronomy heritage of Bodmin Moor and beyond.

Mayes Creative is working on an exciting new project series, inspired by the Penwith and Isles of Scilly Dark Skies bid. Our first phase, will look at the heritage of astronomy in Cornwall, working with Brian Sheen of the Roseland Observatory & Caroline Kennett of South West Astronomy Heritage and our team of artists.

Activities on Penwith & Isles of Scilly now complete

Reg Payn worked with Five Islands School in Summer 2018 with 5 days of puppetry fun for junior aged children resulting in a wonderful showing of all their work at the end of last term. Reg visited St Agnes and Tresco, alongside the main school at St Mary’s. Craig from Squashbox Theatre also made a flying visit to the school (well in fact the plane had engineering trouble so we took the ferry, but that’s another story…..!) and was very well received by the children and staff. Thanks to Reg, Craig and the school staff and children for making both events a great success. We are now planning to return in May with our exciting Lizard Beacons wireless communications project!