Museums at Night 2011: A Book of the Night, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, May 14 2011
“Cornwall is a highly creative county,” points out Cat Gibbard. “Museums at Night has created a real buzz and I’m getting lots of local artists, writers and printmakers registering with us.
“I guess the worst that could happen is that no-one will be able to agree, but the best is a marvellous team effort that produces something remarkable.”
The team at the Newlyn Art Gallery, a picturesque Penzance building twinned with sister gallery The Exchange a couple of miles away, have come up with one of the more ambitious ideas for this year’s campaign.
Following in the footsteps of basement performances, artist-led barbecues and cheesy discos already held there, the space will be the epicentre for an impromptu creative alliance of artists, printmakers and writers who will make an entirely new book, printed in an all-night run by local binders PZ Conservation.
The escapade ties in cannily with Print, their absorbing new exhibition celebrating the veritable gamut of printmakers spawned in the region, surveying a century of etchers, textile experts and print studios via a working installation at the heart of the show.
“Because of the nature of the exhibition, a lot of local creative talents are coming into the gallery. They’re naturally drawn to creating A Book of the Night,” explains Gibbard, who is a dab hand at using exhibitions to galvanise education and events.
“I liked the idea of creating an activity which incorporated the press and that had a deadline, generating energy and purpose.”
The evening will be a tangibly exciting twilight gamble for organisers and participants alike.
“We only have 12 hours in which to create something beautiful, so some experience would be useful, but we’re not looking for formal qualifications. We are a small team who love a challenge.
“It’s great that the project will bring together three different disciplines – the group will have no idea who the other members are until the night. That quality of the unknown gives the potential for creative genius.”