The ‘Peace and Plenty’ Trail                                      December 2012

 

‘Celebrating Cornish food and Penzance town’. The community works together to create fantastic art installations in shops and venues. Bringing people into the high street to celebrate the winter solstice and exploring their town.

Tough Dough together with Penwith community created 21 separate artworks. These were installed in shops, business enterprises and public buildings in the town of Penzance for the ‘Peace and Plenty Trail’. Each artwork represented one day from 1 to 21 December.

Tough Dough worked with groups, delivering workshops and organizing talks and visits with schools.

This project involved a wide range of people of different abilities, ages and backgrounds. We worked with children as young as one to a group at an old people’s day centre. Workshops were delivered to homeless people, teenage mothers and people with learning difficulties from the John Daniel Centre. The public were invited to workshops on two occasions and we also worked with knitting and craft groups as a well as a WI group and schools in rural Penwith and the town of Penzance.

The schools worked directly with a food business. This involved talks, visits, food tasting sessions and research. Other groups worked on local food themes such as the Cornish Cream Tea, foraging, local flower growers and a chocolatier. Some of the groups were engaged with a visit or talk. Artwork was produced in response to this experience.

Tough Dough identified 21 shops, cafes and public venues. The venues were mostly food related and independent businesses as well as public venues such as The Exchange Gallery and the Penzance Public Library.

We targeted isolated communities by engaging with children and the communities in rural schools in Penwith. Participation drew these communities into town to see their own artwork and take part in the trail. The schools also learned about local food shopping in grocery shops and markets as opposed to supermarket shopping which is becoming the norm for many families. We also worked with rural food businesses that distribute their produce in local shops and businesses around the county and nationally.

The Peace and Plenty Trail acted as an alternative take on the Christmas Advent calendar: a celebration of the days leading up to the Cornish Winter solstice. Tough Dough promoted this project through printed cards.

The cards consisted of a photographic montage of all the 21 installations on the cover and a list of all participating venues and groups on the reverse. The participants’ task was to identify all the artworks and number them against the matching businesses.

Participants who identified and marked the 21 venues on the card could enter a prize draw.

The final date of the 21 December was celebrated at the Montol Festival. Food businesses donated a food item or gift to a prize seasonal hamper.

This project was highly creative. A large number of people were involved in this project, and saw the artwork on display. The theme of local food was broad enough for interpretation and generated interesting and individual work. The participants had fun looking for the artwork around the town and the venues enjoyed taking part.