Get In Touch
PAC, Celtic House, Harbour Head,
Porthleven TR13 9JY,
Ph: 01326 574270
Partner Inquiries


The Porthleven Arts Festival is an annual celebration of art in all its forms taking place this year on the 5th-8th October 2023.

We want to try and make art as accessible as possible so you will find the majority of the Events are free.  This is only possible through our generous Volunteers and Artists who donate their time to us as well as donations throughout the year.  You may notice the programme is smaller this year – without managing to secure funding we have had to scale back – but we believe good things come in small packages.  We would appreciate donations of any amount to help us secure the future of the festival.  You can do this at any event or through the JustGiving link here

Throughout the Festival you will find music, creative workshops, artists in residence, markets, exhibitions and talks  across 5 locations in Porthleven – The Netloft, The Shipyard Market, The Old Lifeboat House, St Barts church and the Harbour.

Festival Programme

Downloadable 2-page programme below with day by day listing - scroll down for detailed information on all events as well as the bookable workshop sessions where booking is essential. All other events are free to attend (unless specified)

The Netloft Sessions - Creative Workshops

We are so grateful to Porthleven CIC for funding 5 places on each workshop to young people that live in Porthleven.  If you are between 18-30 and live in Porthleven contact us here and we will send you the details to book on. (these places are on a first come first serve basis).  Or head to our eventbrite collection here (and use the funded by Porthleven CIC events to book on)

There are no upcoming Events at this time.


The Heinichen Ensemble

Friday 6th Oct 7pm

Based in the West of Cornwall, the Heinichen Ensemble is an instrumental group dedicated to the historical performance of music from the 17th and 18th Centuries. Playing authentic replicas of centuries old instruments, the Ensemble brings history to life through its music making.  Their Porthleven concert will showcase less-known composers of the Baroque period. FREE

The Saxy Maids

Sun 8th Oct 7pm

The Saxy Maids are Cornwall’s wonderful all-female Saxophone Quartet.  They will bring this year’s Porthleven Arts Festival to a fabulous and rousing close with repertoire from show tunes to sea shanties and much in between.  FREE with a pay bar


The Porthleven Arts Community Exhibition

6th-8th Oct 10am-5pm

An exhibition showing just a small selection of works by members of our community curated by Liz Dickinson – winner of this years inaugural Porthleven Harbour Arts Prize.  View and purchase the works with commission going back into our Art Community to support future projects.  FREE

The Porthleven Children’s Arts Prize

6th-8th Oct 10am-5pm

Come and view the entries from the Inaugural Porthleven Children’s Art Prize.  Here at Porthleven Arts we like to showcase all ages of talent.  With a theme this year of ‘Porthleven Summer’ taking us back to those glorious summer days in a place we love. FREE

8 Artists in Porthleven

Thurs 5th Oct 10am-5pm

For over 10yrs, Ashley Hanson, a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, has been hosting painting courses at The Old Lifeboat House, welcoming artists from all over the UK and internationally. Each course ends with a one-day exhibition, showing paintings responding to Porthleven, made during the week. Also on show will be a selection of Ashley’s iconic ‘Porthleven’ series. Come and meet the artists! FREE

Porthleven Paintings

Fri 6th Oct 10am-4pm

In a 1-day exhibition, prizewinning artist Ashley Hanson will be showing over 20 paintings from his iconic ‘Porthleven’ series, including his latest work, ‘Porthleven 70’ at the Old Lifeboat House. FREE

Artists in Residence

Liz Dickinson

Open Daily 10am-5pm – FREE

I was brought up in Northumberland with its vast open beauty; contrasts of moors, hills and coast. It was this similar drama that brought me to Cornwall in 1995, along with the incredible heritage of art and inspiration held here within such a vibrant creative community. I was already enthralled and heavily influenced by mid 20th century modernism; the art of Peter Lanyon, William Scott, Paul Fieler and Karl Weshcka along with strong 50’s design motif. 

Being in Cornwall has given me so much connection with these artists and many others. The change in the seasons and the Cornish light depicted through landscape and still life  of these artists has now found me intertwining elements of realism with abstraction in a similar context.  

My work now is an emotional response to the environment I live in, both interior and exterior, through colour, shape, texture and form. I work in paint, mostly acrylics and mixed media, at times stretching my vision from 3 dimensions to 2 dimensions and occasionally back again.  

My work is underpinned by observation and making intuitive drawings that can be one line or a mass of expressive marks that bring ideas together playing with perspective and view point that makes the viewer question what is there, is it meant to be that way?  Small clues will help lead the viewer to answers however there is never just one answer to any visual question set. 

As winner of the Inaugural Porthleven Harbour Arts Prize we are delighted Liz has agreed to come and be part of our festival.  You can also do a workshop with her called ‘Seeing Like Lanyon’ where you will learn the processes she follows to develop and create her work.   Come and meet Liz and see her at work in the Netloft during the festival.  You can see more of Liz’s work on her website here

Jo Cottam

Open Daily 10am-5pm – FREE

I started my studies at Falmouth School of Art in 1986. I followed this with an HND in Ceramic Design, also at Falmouth, with a year spent at the University of Idaho where I studied Fine Art and Ceramics. During my time in the USA I developed a passion for the alchemy in glaze and firing technology and an interest in the elements as inspiration for my painting and ceramic forms.

My current work continues to reflect the local environment and the colours of the changing land, sea and sky, with a focus on creating tactile depth and illusion. 

Having lived in Cornwall for most of my life, the vast skies and changing light are intrinsic to my work. A sense of belonging which shapes the process of layering colour and texture creates the illusion of elemental movement. The colours I use are selected and applied in a way that is both methodical and meditative. I work on several pieces of work at the same time and this keeps the marks I make fresh and expressive. I am inspired by the emotional connection we have to our surroundings and much of my work is reminiscent of our sense of place.

Impressionist values and the way atmosphere can be described through a range of marks and brushstrokes was recently described by @lucindadaltongallery;

‘Jo’s work reflects her local surroundings in West Cornwall; the colours, the sounds, the land, sea and sky. You can almost smell the salty sea air….’

Sometimes detail emerges from the layers as work progresses; sometimes it is a mere hint of something which the viewer translates for themselves.

Jo was the winner of the people’s choice at the Porthleven Harbour Arts Prize and we are delighted Jo has agreed to come and be part of our festival.  Come and meet Jo and see her at work in the Netloft during the festival.  You can see more of Jo’s work on her website here


Artist Talk: Ashley Hanson

Friday 6th Oct 1pm-2pm

Ashley will be talking about the paintings in his ‘Porthleven’ exhibition, his inspiration, ideas and process. FREE

Institute of Stories – Walking and Talking

Fri 6th Oct 7pm
Walking. Thinking. Writing. From Wordsworth to Woolf and Wainwright to Winn (and some authors who’s surnames don’t start with a W), many writers and thinkers from the past and present have sworn by walking as a method of getting their ideas flowing and coaxing out words.
At this free event you’ll read, consider and discuss some inspirational passages and find out how walking influences writers and their works. Please bring your own drinks and snacks.  FREE


Art Auction

Friday 6th Oct 7pm

An auction to raise money for Porthleven Lights with donated art, ceramics and prints from local artists – including Nicola Bealing, Shelley Tregonning, Heather Howe, Andrew Barrowman, Jo Cottam and many more .  FREE

Market: Celebration of Illustration

Sat 7th Oct 12pm-9pm
Celebration of Illustration is a one day event, celebrating the talent, diversity and creativity in the world of graphic art, surface design and illustration.
Find stalls from your favourite illustrators, workshops with the aim to inspire and

excite – music, food, drink and fun – our aim is to not only celebrate the amazing creatives in the area, but also to inspire the next generation of artists looking to work in the industry. Find out m
ore here .  Follow them on their socials for all the awesome traders FREE

Market: Wonders of the Waves

Sun 8th Oct 9.30am-late
Exploring the magic of the ocean through art, play and performance whilst working together to preserve our precious seas!
As part of this year’s annual Porthleven Arts Festival, we’ve invited  back the Mermaids – with a magical, swashbuckling, sustainable twist!
From meeting the mermaids in their magical grotto which will wash up in The Shipyard Market and watching the pirates race their rafts in our harbour, to cosy craft workshops and sessions where you can learn about how to protect our oceans, there’s plenty to entertain the whole family.  See below for traders you will find in the market and workshops you can enjoy.

Workshops at Wonders of The Waves

Kindly Funded by Porthleven Town Council

Family Workshop: Wishes From the Waves

Sun 8th Oct 10am-5pm – DROP IN (first 20 kids make for free)
We have two brilliant workshops to share with you which will take place in The Shipyard Market on Sunday 8th October from 10am as part of our Wonders of the Waves day.
We are offering you the opportunity to send those wishes to your loved ones via Mermail! Thanks to Porthleven Town Council and their generous donation the first 20 places for children will be free. (first come first served basis – £5 per card after that).
Create your own card perfect for sending your wishes using the materials provided on the day, including 1 x blank greeting card and envelope, sea glass, paints, pens, pencils and glue. Once dry, post your sealed and addressed card into the special post box.
The post will be collected by special mermail of the sea and delivered to your chosen person, so please make sure you know where it’s going!
A Special Mermail Box will be available for one day only, these are magical boxes and will disappear after 24 hours!!! Head to see Pip Carlton-Barnes – The Old Forge Studio who you will find next to the magical mermaid grotto to take part.

Family Workshop: Trash to Treasure

Sun 8th Oct 10am-5pm – DROP IN – FREE
The second drop-in workshop funded by Porthleven Town Council is ‘Trash to Treasure’
Go and see the amazing Matt from One Blue Eye to turn plastic pulled from the ocean into Carabiners. Matt will guide you through the process from taking the plastic and grinding it into small flakes right through to the finished article. Trash really can be turned into treasure! Even the grinding machine is a feast of engineering and up cycling.
This workshop is free for kids (while stocks last). You will find One Blue Eye opposite the Mermaid Grotto in The Shipyard Market – market is open 9.30am until 5pm.

Traders at Wonders of The Waves

Trader:  One Blue Eye

Matt takes plastic waste from companies, beach cleans and donated objects and turns them into products.  Taking that waste and turning into something of value.  “Part of my creative drive is being out in the environments I am striving to improve. Gaining inspiration from the sea, the coastline and the people I meet.”

Trader: Pip @ Old Forge Studios

Beautifully created art for your home. Choose from a collection of fine art composite photography prints, inspired by the Cornish landscape, or mixed media seaglass, pebble and tumbled glass art combined with my composite art and watercolours to bring delicate floral pieces or quirky characters to your home. Handmade with love in Cornwall.

Trader:  Mora Cornwall

Mora is Cornish for leaving land on a voyage and all my artwork revolves around my love of the ocean and my home of Cornwall. Cheeky seagulls and sneaky pasties often find their way into my work along with classic Cornish figures like fishermen, surfers and even mermaids! I have artwork, clothes, homeware, and accessories available, all made in the most sustainable way I could to ensure that we can protect the ocean that we all love so much.

Trader: Below and Beyond Art

Below and Beyond Art was founded by Janavi Kramer, an Artist and Scientific Illustrator based in Hertfordshire with a life-long fascination with the Ocean. Using vibrant and visceral colours, her work showcases the wonders of the Ocean, opening a window into the world below to inspire connection and empathy for those who look through it. Janavi’s mission is not only to evoke passion in others but to also highlight the threats impacting the marine environment and the species within it.

Trader:  Kosin

An adventurous and conscientious clothing and lifestyle brand based in the SW (Bristol and South East Cornwall!)
Kosin means good friend in Cornish and that is what Andy and I are, It perfectly describes us, having known each other for over 20 years, and also refers to the relationship surfers have with the ocean.
We are really keen to support local projects, such as the St Ives Skate Park, Jesus Surf Classic Surf Comp as well as currently supporting RNLI via a surf film and raffle.
We are learning all the time, trying to use recycled packaging materials, sourcing where possibly Vegan friendly products, organic cotton and using suppliers who are fully transparent with their supply chains so we know where the product comes from and that it has been ethically sourced.

Trader: Sunbeam Silver

After finishing Vi form last year not knowing what my next step was, I came across a silver smithing course and ended up loving it! I’ve always been arty, loved photography and being outdoors, the beaches inspire a lot of my jewellery. I use seaglass, shells and sea pottery that I find locally in my jewellery as well as creating with pearls, gemstones and stamped pieces. I am also passionate about keeping my packaging environmentally friendly to keep our coastlines clean

Trader:  Pixies Pure Glass

I have lived in Cornwall all my life. I value our beautiful coastline, it inspires my work, I have a great fondness for all the blues of our ocean. When I’m not creating glass projects I enjoy beach walks and paddle boarding with my family & friends.

Trader: Marianna Baxter Ceramics

Based on the Lizard Peninsula, Marianna produces an eye catching range of ceramic jewellery, tableware and wall art.

Trader:  Cornish Threads

Ghost gear (discarded fishing gear) is detrimental to marine life, and the worst contributor of plastic pollution. As an Ecology and Wildlife Conservation graduate, I am really passionate about protecting nature.

My products are made from ghost gear I find on the beach, which is then untangled and cleaned, leaving me to get creative and choose colours to sew together.

We use cookies to give you the best experience.