Speakers and facilitatorsadmin2020-11-30T14:12:20+00:00
Dr Joanna MayesCreative Director
Dr Joanna Mayes has a background in education (BEdHons) and Jazz improvisation., with a PhD in participatory performance/art from Dartington College of Arts. Currently living in Cornwall, creative projects include both creative production and direction as well as the making of installation work and film and is co-founder of the artist film organisation Cinestar. Jo’s continued interest lies in the way in which we locate ourselves and how to extend this understanding through community and performance and how creative technology helps us to achieve this. Alongside this, Jo is also the programmer for the St Ives Jazz Club.
Jo’s continued interest lies in the way in which we locate ourselves and how to extend this understanding through community and performance. Recently working with Cornwall Libraries on the ongoing project series Loop the Loop around Cornwall, Jo is also provided creative production and direction for the current Mayes Creative project Dark Skies: Bright Stars. Jo also devised and delivered the heritage film project Golow Gas in Redruth for Cinestar. Prior to this, Jo provided ongoing tutoring work for University students with specific learning disabilities. Jo is a full member of the Institute of Fundraising. Alongside this, Jo provides programming support for St Ives Jazz Club.
Carolyn Kennett is a historian of astronomy and archaeoastronomer. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society she recently published research on the astronomical investigations at The Hurlers triple stone circles. She is an editor and contributor on the forthcoming Neptune: From Grand Discovery to a World Revealed: Essays on the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of John Couch Adams. Actively researching ancient sites in her local area of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, she regularly gives talks on the subject to both local and national groups. You will often find her out walking the moors of Penwith considering how ancient communities connected to the night sky.
Melanie King is a visual artist and practice-based researcher at the Royal College of Art. She is interested in the relationship between starlight, photography and materiality. Her PhD practice-based research “Ancient Light” considers how light travels thousands, if not millions of years, before reaching photosensitive film or a digital sensor.The purpose of her research is to demonstrate the intimate connection between celestial objects (sun, moon, stars), photographic material and the natural world. Melanie is currently researching sustainable photographic processes, to minimise the environmental impact of her artistic practice.
Steve Geliot is an artist with a long background in public art/sculpture but who more recently has become interested in the night: making photographs, drawings and films then writing about his noctambulist experiences. Steve is a vocal dark skies campaigner and has recently contributed evidence and advice to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dark skies. Steve is also an Artist Ambassador to the Earth Project, and will be making a series of short films for COP26 in Glasgow.
Justin is a sound artist and educator whose work uses phonics, text, film, object changing and drawing to make interface solutions to creative and site/circumstance-specific problems, and looks to redevelop the sense of hearing as a learning tool and an awareness machine. His work has been shown both nationally and internationally, and he was awarded the Arts Council England International Artists Scheme Funding for his new piece The Doberman Variations, which is now an interactive book and the world’s largest download code. Additionally, he worked with Ikon Gallery and John Taylor Hospice (where he is artist in residence) to found Life Echo, a research project dedicated to transforming the memories of people nearing the ends of their lives into sound.
Sheila Kanani is a British astronomer and the Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer at the Royal Astronomical Society. She studied Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, which she graduated from in 2006. In 2012 she earned her PhD, which saw Sheila working with the Cassini spacecraft, analysing Saturn’s magnetosphere from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Whilst there, she received a NASA Group Achievement Award. In 2014, Sheila began working at the RAS, at the same time as being awarded an Inspiring Women in Technology award. Sheila has become a familiar face in the national discussion of science, including presenting programmes for the BBC, and, alongside this, is dedicated to improving the representation of women and girls in physics.
Raised on the outskirts of West London, Peter Beeson was drawn to spending as much time as possible in nature. He now paints and lives in St Ives, Cornwall. His work is held in private and public collections worldwide. Over the first lockdown period in the UK, Peter was commissioned by Mayes Creative to produce images and facilitate a social media campaign for the #seventeensuns project. This has now developed into over one hundred paintings of the sunrise that Peter continues to create.
Cheryl Straffon is Cornish, and, after graduating from London & Cambridge universities with degrees in English and Comparative Religious Studies, lived and worked for a while in Scotland and England before returning to Cornwall 30 years ago. She is the author of a number of books on prehistoric Cornwall and on the Goddess. These include Pagan Cornwall: land of the Goddess; Fentynyow Kernow (holy wells); Megalithic Mysteries of Cornwall; The Earth Goddess; and Daughters of the Earth. She is also editor of the long-running pagan-orientated earth mysteries magazine Meyn Mamvro, and founder and editor of the magazine Goddess Alive! She chairs the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network environmental group, and is Project Manager for LAN (Lizard Ancient Sites Network). Although now “retired”, she actively continues to research archaeology, mythology, folklore and legend from her home in West Penwith that she shares with her lifelong partner.