We are pleased to announce that Falmouth artist Zoe Young will be appearing as a guest artist at the Alverton Gallery from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 19th August 2017.
“Freeing Up our Prayers in Sacred Places of Penwith”
Falmouth artist Zoe Young has an impressive artistic heritage including her grandmother, Kathleen Scott, society sculptor and colleague of Auguste Rodin. Kathleen’s sitters included George Bernard Shaw, Lawrence of Arabia and of course her husband, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, whose form she memorialized after losing him to polar snows.
“It was unusual for a woman at that time to run away to Paris to become an artist, but as an independent orphan, she had little time for social mores of the time” explains Zoe. “As an artist, I work with my ancestors’ love of adventure and of nature, and honouring a deeper past: the legacy and traditions of other ages, ways and places.” Her parents, Lord and Lady Kennet, worked tirelessly to save West Country neolithic sites like Stonehenge and Avebury from desecration, and her uncle was Sir Peter Scott, the painter and ‘patron saint of conservation’ (David Attenborough). Her sisters include the novelist Louisa Young and Emily Young, ‘Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor’ (Financial Times).
Trained in scientific and earth-based traditions, Zoe carries on a family passion for conservation, creativity and the wild. “It would appear that my preoccupations with art, ecology and taking the path less travelled is an inheritance from which I cannot escape, even here in the far far west” she ponders. Working with non-biodegradable ‘clouties’ cleared by the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network from the branches of trees round West Penwith’s Madron Holy Well, Zoe’s work at the Alverton Gallery draws attention to the tradition that a wish could be released as the cloth, paper or wood it was written upon disintegrates into the web of life. To create a stronger visual impact than such old rags, many would-be pilgrims visiting ancestral sites now choose to tie brightly-coloured plastic, nylon and other modern materials instead. Perhaps they are unaware that their tokens soon turn into litter, damaging trees, wildlife and waterways, and any prayers they embody remain trapped for centuries because non-biodegradable items will NOT disintegrate?
Through participatory art work making creative use of a sackful of plastic ‘clouties’ cleared from Madron Well by CASPN volunteers, Zoe works to educate and empower participants to consider the powers of prayer, pollution and protection of our ancient sacred sites.