by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer
with thanks to Jodie Bishop, Public Art Officer

Behind the scenes we’re supporting some South West-based artists with their work at their moment and I thought I’d shine a light on their projects. We’ll be talking about each of them in more detail in the coming months too.

Shannon Watson and Imperfect Orchestra – Immersive Orchestra
Bringing together the ever-popular activity of wild swimming with the historic musical culture of Plymouth, this live performance on the Hoe foreshore (close to the Terrace café) will take place on 30 September and will encourage people to either swim or dance.

You can find out much more about the Imperfect Orchestra, who are a live soundtrack ensemble of amateur musicians, via their website. You can also get in touch with them via their website if you’d like to get involved in the project. Here’s a concept visual for their commission.

Visual for Plymphony No 1 by Imperfect Orchestra - Supporting South West Artists

Flo Brooks – ‘What comes to matter’
This outdoor history exhibition will explore LGBTQ+ narratives of Plymouth and feature an audio work and bespoke seating. You’ll be able to see it at the Lion’s Den on the waterfront during the Weekender.

In partnership with Take a Part and Visual Arts Plymouth we’re providing funding support to these two projects as well as some logistical support. We’re really looking forward to seeing them.


Bridgette Ashton – The History Commission
In partnership with Visual Arts Plymouth we are supporting Cornwall-based Bridgette Ashton with this commission.

Bridgette is best known for her work with caves, follies and grottoes and her practice encompasses sculpture, print, drawing, installation and publications.

For the Weekender she’ll be developing new work inspired by the discovery of the Cattedown Caves and their connection to the destruction and further reconstruction of Plymouth.

Visit her website or follow her on Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with her project. Keep an eye on our website too for details of related events we’ll be offering during the autumn including a talk about the caves and a tour to them. Here are images of a couple of maquettes Bridgette has made as she develops her commission.

Bridgette_Ashton_Cattedown_Caves_Experience - Supporting South West Artists

Bridgette_Ashton_Worth's_Folly - Supporting South West Artists


Helen Snell – Neogeographies
This commission marks 250 years since Captain James Cook set sail from Plymouth aboard HMS Endeavour in 1768. We hold first editions of the memoirs of Cook’s Voyages in our Cottonian Collection so have been supporting Devon-based artist Helen Snell with her research. In 2019 she will present her work in Whitby and at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Helen recently went to Whitby to visit the Captain Cook Museum and walked the Yorkshire coastline to get a feel for Cook’s early years.

You can follow the project on Instagram or find out more about Helen here. Here’s an image of her working on a previous commission.

Helen Snell - Supporting South West Artists

Helen’s blogging about the progress of her project and you can read her first post here. We’ll be publishing a second post on 21 July. More will follow in the coming months giving a glimpse into her practice and her engagement with our collections.

We’ll have lots more information to share about the Plymouth Art Weekender and other artistic and commissioning projects in the near future!