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Coronavirus Culture and creativity Environment

Landscape, the Future and Imagination

Robin Sullivan is a queer Cornish artist supported and funded by Par Bay Creative a Creative Civic Change programme based in Cornwall. His latest project is a 5-month programme titled ‘And Everything And Nothing Has Changed’ which takes place alongin a 70km stretch of scenic China Clay landscape shaped by 200 years of mining. 

As part of this project Robin has led community focused workshops, public events and archaeological walks focusing on how the rise and decline of China Clay mining industry has impacted the landscape and local community. 


Listen to Robin discussing the inspiration and ideas behind ‘And Everything And Nothing Has Changed’ in this podcast which is part of the Voices of Creative Civic Change series recorded in July 2021: 



Looking over a 6000-year history of evolving communities and culture was a way of looking into the future and understanding what this landscape is going to continue to look like



‘Landscape forms culture and community and culture form landscape

Inspiring creativity  

Robin’s archaeological walks inspired Jayne, Project Manager of Covid and Beyond at Par Bay Creatives to write a series of poems inspired by change across the local landscape. Jayne is also behind a series of collaborative poetry open mic nights and runs poetry workshops both in person and on Zoom.





The Night of the Nine Stones 

On the 9 June 2021 as lockdown measures were slowly being lifted in collaboration with Par Bay Creatives Robin organised the Night of the Nine Stone. The event was to take place on land loaned by Imerys Minerals below the Great Treverbyn Tip or the Sky Tip in St. Austell, however rain forced it inside at Cornubia, a community centre that is home to Par Bay Big Local.  





It was a night of celebration, coming together, music, dancing, poetry recital, improvisation, and joy at finally being again being able to come together again as a community and enjoy the company of others with reduced lockdown measures.

See how other Creative Civic Change areas have been growing through the storm during the pandemic.




‘It’s been quite interesting throughout the process what has become more important originally it was working towards this kind of sculptural object, this kind of titanic object of a standing stone and more and more it became for more important to just hold conversations- the objects themselves don’t really matter’ 



‘I have now been told by from the musicians, performers and poets and people that collaborated [night of the 9 stones] is going to continue to be more of a monthly event now, taking place within that area so that’s become immediately self-sufficient and sustainable which is the biggest joy of this project so far for me’




There were 9 wooden structures arranged in a circle to form a stage. They represented standing stones that each had a question encouraging attendees to consider their landscape and to ignite discussion beyond the night.  


The Petal Kiln  

 The entire project will end with a public art display of a giant Petal Kiln opening to reveal a sculpture made with the local community using local materials in workshops. It will be opened to dramatic effect after hours of firing into the shape of a flower with a sculpture at its centre, follow the link to see an example of this process. The sculpture has already been donated to a local town centre where it will hopefully remain for centuries.  





When we first met Robin the Kiln was still very much a work in progress receiving the support of local college students to make it all happen and now quite recently Robin had a successful test firing and is now preparing to fire and unveil the final sculpture on the 11th of September! 





‘I am going to attempt to open this kiln up with five mad friends and colleagues and reveal inside this glowing red 2 and half meter standing stone we’ve built with about sixty members of the community’


Creative Civic Change 

Robin reflected on how Creative Civic Change helped him to develop and deliver And Everything and Nothing has changed 


‘The funding made available through Creative Civic Change has made the project what it is, it wouldn’t be possible without it…they intrusted their money in me to do something and with that also comes the confidence. I don’t think it’s just the physical things that the money has brought, but it’s also [knowing] what you’re doing is good, what you’re doing is valid so go and make it happen- that gives you more hope and confidence to continue doing what you are doing’   


We wish Robin the best of luck and look forward to seeing more from him and enjoy listening to the podcast! 

To follow Robin’s progress, you can subscribe to his website and follow him on instagram  

The Petal Kiln is designed by Andres Allik who gave Robin permission to use his design to build the first kiln of this kind in the UK


 Photo credits: Kate Dyer, Jade Hooper, Gemma Wearing Films, Khadijah Carberry 






Khadijah Carberry