Dark Skies, Wild Seas: Coverack Group Artist Residency

December 5-9, 2021

A fantastic opportunity to spend time with like-minded people in the quiet fishing village of Coverack, Cornwall, on the Lizard peninsular. This fascinating art-science crossover opportunity is curated to inspire art practitioners, researchers and thinkers alike.   

We are hosting this residency at Coverack YHA,  which overlooks the village of Coverack, with jaw-dropping views across Coverack Cove opening into the wild sea. Home to a stunning beach, beautiful harbour, and a warm community spirit, Coverack has lots of things to enjoy alongside your creative practice. Time will be spent researching, discussing,sharing and collaborating. Steeped in Cornish history, we will explore beaches (some secret), delve into historical ‘sea roads’, and explore the unusual geological formations that dagger into the sea. Experience a different side of Cornwall with its winter wildlife, wild seas and dark skies all from the warmth of this delightful accommodation.

We welcome all artforms with lots of room for site-specific working and an abundance of ancient sites and creative walks to fuel inspiration.

We encourage creatives, researchers and enthusiasts of all disciplines; if you know anyone you think would be interested in the residency, please encourage them to apply.

Our residencies have a relaxed environment with plenty of time to immerse yourselves in your practice or research. We encourage everyone to share enthusiasm and relevant research; our overview project theme ‘Dark Skies, Wild Seas’ is connected to star stories, astronomy, geology, and local heritage.

Our residencies have a relaxed environment with plenty of time to immerse yourselves in your practice or research. There will be many opportunities to collaborate work and ideas with others. We encourage everyone to share enthusiasm and relevant research; our overview project theme ‘Above & Below’ is connected to space exploration, Cornish heritage, planetary science and geophysics.

Apply here (deadline November 28)


We invite you to showcase your work through our networking channels and contribute to our online blog; this will be shared across our social media platforms. Additionally, if taken up, each artist will have a section on the Mayes Creative website dedicated to their work on this residency.

Participants will also be invited to join the Mayes Creative artists Patreon network (for a small subscription fee), designed to continue working relationships and collaborations, provoke conversation and discussion, and offer informed advice on funding, project development and working in the arts-science-heritage cross-section.

“Participants can submit artwork created in response to the residency for inclusion in our Dark Skies Wild Seas artist folio, to be produced in Spring 2022, presented to the Cornwall Studies Library at Kresen Kernow and shared widely as a digital book”.


Due to the current pandemic, we will be offering limited places, and participants are asked to bubble (and apply) with a family member, friend or colleague with a minimum of two to each room. If this is not possible for you, and you are happy to share a large room with another artist, please apply for yourself. There is lots of communal space, both indoor and outdoor, and social distancing is possible. We will be adhering to all current Covid-19 regulations and government guidelines. Check out our FAQs and don’t hesitate to message us with any queries.

The hostel has a well-equipped self-catering kitchen in which we can organise timetabled usage. Communal spaces include a spacious dining room with a large bay window with stunning views of the sea. There is a cosy lounge and conservatory, games room with a pool table and plenty of board games for guests to use.

Further Details:

Taking the theme of ‘Dark Skies, Wild Seas’ we consider the stories of stars and the wild coastline of the lizard peninsular, looking at how people have lived and worked this special landscape since prehistory using and enjoying the ancient night skies and sea connectivity that we can experience today.

Highlights during the residency include:

  • Sea Roads walk led by Carolyn Kennett. Visit to the ancient promontory cliff castles exploring life on the edge of the world during the Iron Age.
  • Alternative analogue film processing with seaweed, foraging for materials and lichen hunting with artist Joanna Mayes.
  • Hands on opportunity to experience traditional methods for working serpentine, led by serpentine artist Don Taylor
  • Secret beach walk, exploring seashore flora and fauna led by Rachel Holder from the National Trust – Lizard Point
  • Group visit to Terence Coventry Sculpture Park
  • Night walk and stargazing
  • Low light photography session


£249: full price per person (14 spaces in 7 rooms, booked as bubbles of at least 2)

Two x £99: concessionary rate places are available to Cornwall residents in need of support. These will be chosen by need, enthusiasm and artist portfolio and/or statement. There will be the opportunity to apply for this within the application form.

Prices include shared accommodation for four nights in this stunning location and full use of the hostel.

There will also be an opportunity for one artist to contribute a workshop to the residency, in return for a discount of £50 off the full price. Please apply for this within the application form.

This residency is part of the Star Stories project produced by Mayes Creative and supported by Post Code Lottery & ACE.

Apply here