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Artichoke: a new community arts magazine

Roger Davison and Lisa Stewart


Artichoke (poster detail right, contents page below) is a 'shout' which aims to provide a platform in Cornwall to promote equity of access to all, by supporting adults of all abilities. We hope to support a particular genre of creative practice, which operates on the boundaries of mainstream art. Unlike the artists who paint the Cornish landscape the creatives included in our publication may or may not be influenced by those outer forms. In general they create singular realities for themselves in work that expresses raw, intuitive emotional energy and departs from the cultural norm, manifesting in all kinds of arts, which include theatre, dance, music, creative writing and poetry.
This magazine has risen from the participatory research project, Spontaneous Combustion that explored different approaches to creativity led by Linda Styles, Jo Forsyth and Lisa Stewart. Information about the exhibitions for ‘Spontaneous Combustion 1  (2006) and 2 (2007) can be viewed on www.artcornwall.org. Forming a magazine seemed a logical next step to continue supporting those individuals who might consider themselves to be on the margins of the art world for various reasons. 


The Spontaneous Combustion projects set out to examine how those who feel excluded can be supported and presented to a wider audience, and included in new exhibitions alongside recognised artists. We sincerely believe that this widening participation needs to continue and provide an ongoing level of support for these creatives - particularly the more vulnerable - whose vision often contributes a fresh look at the worlds we live in and enriches society’s evolving consciousness.

We hope to support the work of those who are not prepared to compromise: radicals and non-conformists within the thriving artistic community in Cornwall. What they have to say seldom appears in the pages of the mainstream literature. Our intention is not to duplicate the debate which arts journalism already supports within the county, through a range of local specific and non-specific publications, but to actively seek out those who experience their creative practices as socially marginalized.

The arts administrative structure within the county provides very well for those artists with the relevant social skills to engage in the networks provided. We feel that there are a significant number of creatives who feel themselves excluded from this funded assistance due to a range of reasons. Artichoke aims to address this and give a voice to celebrate the contributions of many who deserve to be placed in the spotlight.

We have no previous journalistic experience, nor can we do the academic art-speak, we have our own voice.
Project co-ordination:  Roger Davison and Lisa Stewart       email: arti.choke@hotmail.co.uk       Contributor:  Jo Forsyth




Artichoke is currently for sale at Falmouth Art Gallery, and New St. Gallery PZ. or by post £6.00 inc.p&p cheques made out to Lisa Stewart, c/o R.Davison, Green Hedges,Raginnis Hill, Mousehole TR19 6SR.