by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

With roughly a year to go until The Box opens, we’ll be turning our focus to our onsite activity in the second half of 2019. We have a great deal of work to do to fit out our new galleries, move all our collections and finalise all our preparations! Although this will mean fewer ‘On Tour’ events and activities we have some great things lined up for the next few weeks. Here’s a roundup of the main highlights.

1. Plymouth History Festival 2019
Running from 4 to 31 May, this is the seventh year in a row that we’ve coordinated the Plymouth History Festival. The programme of 100+ events is always jam packed with guided walks, talks and tours. There are also exhibitions, family activities, music, performance and a host of special events on offer. Visit the festival website here and watch the trailer below.

2. New Perspectives on Captain Cook
We’ve been supporting artist Helen Snell with her ‘Neogeographies’ project by providing her with access to the Captain Cook volumes in our Cottonian Collection. Come and listen to her discuss the project, a direct response to the extraordinary prints and images that documented Cook’s voyages during the 1700s, in our evening talk on 7 May.

3. An opera with a difference
Escape escapism with ‘The View from Behind the Futuristic Rose Trellis’; a vivid, multi-musical opera about greed, aspiration and freedom. This colourful, comi-tragic take on the cycle of life by ‘Ravioli Me Away’ features sixteen new musical compositions across three acts and will be performed at the Barbican Theatre on 11 May. You can choose from a relaxed matinee or an evening performance.

4. Inspired by the Cattedown Caves
For the 2018 Plymouth Art Weekender artist Bridgette Ashton was awarded the History Commission from Visual Arts Plymouth and The Box. ‘Worth’s Folly’ commemorated the 1886 discovery of Plymouth’s Palaeolithic Cattedown Cave and highlighted the links between it and the Athenaeum, where the excavated finds were initially displayed. Learn more about the project in an evening talk on 21 May at the Athenaeum.

5. The Unknown Knowns
This partnership exhibition delivered by The Arts Institute and The Box, includes film works inspired by the collections at the South West Film and Television Archive. In a world where data is as valuable as land, how vigilantly are we protecting our most prized assets, and how much of ourselves is available on the open market? Find out how the featured artists have responded to these questions and more in The Levinsky Gallery at the University of Plymouth, from now until 22 May.

6. Keeper of the Light
Commissioned in partnership with The Academy of Music and Theatre Arts at Falmouth University, these unique performances will take place in Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse on 24 May, 5, 6, 7 and 8 June.
Since 1698, there have been four lighthouses on the rocks at the dangerous Eddystone reef. ‘Keeper of the Light’ uses these as inspiration to tell stories of both fear and courage. Find out more about them here.

'The Eddystone Lighthouse', by William Daniell (1769-1837)

Looking beyond our own programme, there are some other events and exhibitions taking place in May and June that you may want to check out as well. These include:

7. Pirates Weekend
Running on 11 and 12 May this hugely popular event for all the family promises lots of nautical-based fun around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour. Find out more from the Visit Plymouth website.

8. Flavour Fest
Another signature event for Plymouth, this year’s Flavour Fest will take place from 31 May to 2 June. You can find out more about it here.

9. Steven Paige: Meeting the Archive
Running from today until 1 June, this exhibition features moving image works and takes a performative, semi-autobiographical approach, as Paige seeks and creates relationships between himself and the films. You can see it on display in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art.

Elaine Goodwin mosaic

10. Journeying to the Light
Running at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter until 23 June this retrospective exhibition celebrates forty years of mosaic art by the artist Elaine M Goodwin.

We hope to see you at some of our events over the next few weeks!