Boconnoc's welcoming new art space
With everyone leading such busy lives where screens and technology play such a big part, it’s understandably hard to find the time to switch off and immerse yourself in a creative practice. However, the benefits of taking time to slow the pace and focus on creativity are widely proven to be beneficial to general wellbeing and happiness. Half an hour spent sketching, painting or simply mark-making can truly be a tonic for the soul.
Following a recent visit to an open studio in Cornwall, the Boconnoc team were inspired to recreate the peaceful atmosphere and feeling of escapism of the studios within their own grounds. One of the team has also spent some time working in a hospice and was amazed by the positive impact spending time using a creative space, alongside art therapy, was having on the patients. A dedicated art space allows individuals to develop their creativity and express themselves in a new way. It can also act as a much-needed distraction from whatever else life is throwing at them.
“The team’s vision is to create a welcoming and inclusive sanctuary where our guests can not only unwind and switch off but potentially discover a new passion. Creative expression is such a powerful tool, we’d absolutely love for our guests to be able to take some time for themselves and use the space to indulge their creativity. Our beautiful art space also gives artists the chance to explore and experiment with new mediums in a peaceful and calming setting.
Art is a huge part of the history at Boconnoc and something the team feel passionate about. We often turn to creativity, including art and sewing, collages, writing and drawing, as a way of getting away and slowing down the pace of modern life. To be able to share this creative outlet with our guests is such a privilege.”
– Clare Fortescue, Boconnoc Estate.
A nurturing space for all
The Boconnoc art space is accessible for all ages and abilities and offers guests the chance to freely experiment, there is absolutely no pressure or rules here. We’ll provide everything our guests will need to start creating; with pencils, paints, brushes, crayons and even collage making equipment. From delicate florals and foliage to the stunning architecture of the estate, magic is all around at Boconnoc, at every turn there is a story to be told.
Set in one of our Stable Yard rooms designed by Sir John Soane, artists won’t need to look far to feel inspired. We encourage people to immerse themselves in the history of Boconnoc and let their imaginations run wild. With stunning views, an abundance of breath-taking flora and fauna and the incomparable colour palette and textures of the natural world, we can’t wait to see what our guests create.
Guests will also be provided with items such as dried leaves, pinecones, shells and driftwood to further inspire their creations. Whilst the art space is initially for the use of guests staying at Boconnoc, our vision is to open up to local residents and create a wonderful community of creatives. With school visits, art groups and creative workshops all in the pipeline, watch this space.
Earlier this year Boconnoc hosted a unique exhibition featuring talented local artists and makers living and working in Cornwall. The Kernow Art exhibition, held in our enchanting Stable Yard, was a great success with local sculptors, photographers and artists all displaying their stunning work.
You can find out more @kernow_art_collective
We are delighted to be able to feature the stunning lino print work of Olivia Clifton-Bligh on the walls of our new space. A member of the Boconnoc team met Olivia when they were both volunteering at a local beach clean and the pair connected over a shared love of art and sculpture. We feel this series of her work, inspired by Irish folklore, works in harmony with the ethics and heart of Boconnoc.
Olivia Clifton-Bligh is an award-winning sculptor and printmaker specialising in woodcut and linocut techniques. She studied Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths’ College London (BA Hons 1990-93) and exhibits her work in London and throughout the UK. “My work reflects on our historical and changing relationships with the natural world, by integrating closely observed botanical and zoological studies with the rich metaphorical language of native country lore, both ancient and emerging. For over 20 years, I have lived and worked in Britain’s rural West Country and my sketch books are filled with the flora and fauna of the surrounding landscape, water meadows, ancient woodland, open pasture and historic parkland. This series of linocut prints interprets and illustrates the Tree Ogham, an ancient Irish tradition which brings together indigenous tree lore with alphabetic and calendric systems and a rich poetic narrative.
This tradition would once have been current throughout the West Country, evident through standing stones bearing Ogham script scattered across Cornwall and Devon. Each of my linocut prints represents a letter of the ogham alphabet through an individual tree in its corresponding lunar month. Each one is named after a line from an ancient Irish incantation, the ‘The Song of Amergin’ and explores mythological, practical and botanical associations. My linocut prints are cut and pressed by hand, using stone and bone burnishers onto 100% cotton paper in colour fast oil inks, and illuminated with gold leaf, casein pigments and shellac lacquer.”
You can find out more about Olivia and view her collections on her website.