Going for gold in town’s teamed-up showcase
30th June 2021
By Natasha Swift
After being postponed last year due to covid, two town centre festivals became one at the weekend as part of a oneday community showcase.
Taking place in St Austell’s town centre on Saturday, the Green and Whitegold Festival highlighted the area’s strong horticulture (green) connection with the famous sub-tropical gardens close by and its unique China Clay (whitegold) heritage.
The new programme, working with a variety of organisations, artists and creative people, delivered a mix of hands-on workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, music, art and street performers. The Austell Project has been working with a number of partners including White River Place, St Austell Business Improvement District, Wheal Martyn and Cornwall College St Austell to bring the free festival to life.
Mayor Richard Pears officially opened the festival. He said: “What an incredible day it has been, with St Austell buzzing and vibrant, filled with dancers, stalls and activities.”
A spokesperson from the event said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended the Green Whitegold Festival in St Austell on Saturday for their care and respectful distancing. The day was a huge success with a wonderful response to all of the workshops, demos and performances.”
Cornwall councillor for St Austell Central and Gover, Anne Double said: “It was great to see the town alive and buzzing. Thanks and congratulations to all those who organised and took part in this event.”
Key highlights included the unveiling of the newly-completed Whitegold Ceramic art trail, which seeks to transform the town into a public art gallery and has been two years in the making. It showcased for the first time all 16 specialist ceramic art works. They were all created specially for the town by leading and world-famous artists.
A new walking tour of the Whitegold ceramic art trail has been added to the Discover St Austell App (free to download from the Google and IOS App Stores).
Another highlight of the event was the Clayground Collective, who built a “tree of life” of raw clay. With the help of residents of St Blazey and St Austell and one tonne of clay, they constructed a temporary clay tree that reflected local and personal histories.
Cornwall College St Austell’s creative course students offered live dance and theatre performances in the town centre and street performers Prodigal UPG brought their performance spectacle onto the streets.
Austell Project festival producer Cat Radford said: “The Green and Whitegold Festival is in essence a celebration of our shared heritage and future – all interwoven into the fabric of St Austell’s sense of place for and with the people of this area.”
The event builds on the Garden Festival and the Whitegold Festival of Clay, the two separate events previously organised by the Austell Project. The project is a cultural regeneration initiative, led by St Austell Economic Forum, which aims to make the town an improved place.