For Goonhilly Village Green, I was invited to make a work that welcomes visitors to GVG, and also responds to the collection at the Museum of Cornish Life. As an artist who loves to work both in site-responsive ways and with archives, this has been a joy to work on!
The artwork, titled Welcome (Sent Forever), draws together seemingly disparate strands of research, including: floral motifs of Helston’s flora day and the welcoming of spring; processional music in Cornish and British folk customs; the now defunct business Sent Forever – a paid for service which offered customers the chance to send messages to heavenly friends and family members and possible extraterrestrial lifeforms, sent from the deep space communications satellites at Goonhilly; cosmic welcome mats – an open source design created by a deep space archeologist and experimental philosopher which aims to welcome alien life to earth.
The work comprises a performance and textile piece. There is a sung element to the piece, which has been created collaboratively with Hum choir and composer and voice coach Daisy Higman. We used existing texts drawn from my research to inform the lyrics; including the 1666 proto sci-fi work The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish, press releases by Sent Forever, articles about the Cosmic Welcome Mat, and songs, poems and articles about Flora Day traditions.
The performance takes place at solar noon at The Gathering and will welcome everyone, across earthly and astral borders, to 2019’s Goonhilly Village Green.
Beth Emily Richards is an artist-researcher based in Plymouth, UK. She is a funded PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer, part of the Performance.Experience. Presence research group at Plymouth University. Her broad research interest is critical iterative methods of art production, including reenactment, fan labour, and myth-making. Recent exhibitions and performances include: Poor Copy (solo), Jerwood Visual Arts, London, Exeter Phoenix, The Northern Charter, Newcastle; PooR Life by dog people (duo with Owen G Parry), Transition Two, London; Hummadruz, Newlyn Art Gallery; Understand Better at Biquini Wax, Mexico City; Square Eyes at the Market Studios, Dublin and The Exchange, Penzance; Groaners at Videofag, Toronto.