Creation Space: from a spark to a flame

13 November 2017

Creation Space: from a spark to a flame


The development programmes that we have put in to place at Hall For Cornwall are a direct result of our extensive 1:1 conversations with practitioners across the sector. We work with artists ‘pre-emergence’ through to established mid-career artists and with high quality national partners. We are always working to an extent with unknowns, we don’t know whether work will be funded, we don’t know what will happen during the process of creation, we don’t know who will see it, or how it will be received. What we do know is that we are fortunate to be rich in creativity – I listen to people talking about their ideas day in day out. I am witness to the spark of new ideas that have the potential to grow in to exciting new work. It’s tremendously exciting and I am extremely privileged to be part of these conversations.

Through these 1:1 meetings we discovered that one of the significant practical hurdles within the creative process is how to explore that spark of an idea and to be paid to do that, after all that is the artists job! At Hall For Cornwall we invented Creation Space to kindle that flame within the creative process. An opportunity for artists to collaborate and innovate, we view Creation Space as an investment in professional development that can have an impact on an artists’ practice that reverberates for some time to come.

We use our Creation Space investment to hold space and time for artists to explore and experiment for a week, to invite others to participate in their process and to share their progress at the end of this period of time. The sharing is not intended to be performative necessarily – the process is the focus and if the outcome is that the work will not go forward in this form then that’s fine too. It would be rare for artists to share a space for a week and not to learn anything at all about their own practice that can impact their work going forward.

During the pilot year of Creation Space, we worked with our colleagues at other arts organisations in Cornwall to select six proposals from the field of applications that we felt met our criteria – they were innovative, collaborative and developmental, the combinations of artists and the ideas they wanted to explore throughout the process excited us.