Visual Arts Bursary, July 2019

Following the successful Writers’ Bursary in 2017, we felt encouraged to provide a Bursary award for a visual artist, and in September 2018 we circulated a Call for Artists. From over 15 applicants we selected Jo Atherton, whose work with marine plastics in community settings inspired our board of Trustees!

Jo undertook the supported residency in July this year and you can see more examples of her work on the Resident’s Page of our website.

Her aim was to connect with the local community and share her skills, and with that in mind, she contacted Pendeen School near Cape Cornwall, and proposed a visit  to run a creative workshop based on her practice, to explore plastic pollution and ways in which creative solutions can  begin conversations around  such important issues. Her workshop introduced pupils to the cyanotype process, and she found it very satisfying to share the magic of this transformative technique with the children.

Among the outcomes of Jo’s residency were opportunities to meet with local artist groups, experts and advocates for clean beach projects in West Penwith, as well as ample opportunity to develop her practice. Jo said in her report to the Trust:

“I think that the Bursary Awards are a fantastic idea. I could not have afforded two weeks at Brisons Veor myself, but having a week covered by the Trust made a huge difference. Having two weeks to concentrate on my project, visit the community and also meet with other creatives, I felt that I really made the most of my time and there was not a wasted moment. I was able to not only achieve my own creative ambitions, but return with plenty of thoughts to continue the healthy momentum of my practice, involving not just the development of my own skills, but within a context of art within the community, its application with regards to the challenge of approaching plastic pollution and also how, in the future, my designs can become lasting records of our material culture.
Only with the space and time to play, can we be bold and generate new ideas, and this is where the magic of a Brisons Veor Bursary lies.”