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.
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)
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
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
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
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
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
Market: Wonders of the Waves
Sun 8th Oct 9.30am-late
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)
Family Workshop: Trash to Treasure
Sun 8th Oct 10am-5pm – DROP IN – FREE
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: 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
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.