Across the bay from the café, Godrevy Lighthouse played host to an intriguing and unique art installation last week. Unfortunately Peace Camp 2012 wasn’t visible from our vantage point at Porthminster, as the artwork was tucked away on the other side of the island, so we decided to take a closer look.
Peace Camp 2012 is part of the London 2012 Festival and was designed by Director Deborah Warner in collaboration with the actor Fiona Shaw. The brief was to create a coastal installation encircling the UK which celebrated it’s variety and beauty. What the team came up with was “eight murmuring, glowing encampments” which appeared simultaneously at some of our most beautiful and isolated coastal locations around the British Isles. Designed to be visited between dusk and dawn, the glowing, orange tents appeared on rocky promontories, beneath ruined castles, on remote pebbly beaches and nestled against white cliffs. At Godrevy, the tents were sited under the lighthouse. This was built in the 1850s after several shipwrecks occured off the rocks here.
“Only a stone’s throw out to sea, Godrevy Island takes the full force of the gales sweeping in from the Atlantic. The Stones, a treacherous reef, extends outwards from the island across the bay towards St Ives.”
The lighthouse was manned by a team of two, until it was automated in 1939 and the lighthouse keepers left the island forever (it is now run on solar power.) Godrevy is said to be the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. She had several family holidays in Cornwall, although the book was actually set in the Outer Hebribes.
Now the setting for one of the eight ‘camps’ encircling the UK, the tents on Godrevy were lit up like a sanctuary, the distance short but trecherous. As dusk gradually fell, the tents shone bright and brighter, the orange glow capturing the colour of the disappearing sun set.
We’re impressed with this new exciting age of art work in unexpected places, including last year’s Cornwall Design Season and Artsmine this year. Keep it coming and if anyone has ideas for an installation at Porthminster give us a shout!