Plymouth Art Weekender usually has so many good things stuffed into a few creative hubs like Armada Way, Royal William Yard and Plymouth School of Creative Arts that it’s easy to spend the whole weekend in just one or two locations. However, there are always rare gems to be found by the more adventurous Weekenderer and often they also provide an excuse to visit hidden or little known parts of the city for the first time.
For example, did you know that Plymouth has an independent library that dates back to 1810? Jessica Bartlett’s exhibition, The Book of Leaves, is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the Plymouth Proprietary Library, with selected books and material from the collection being shown alongside her drawings and engraved work. Energetic early risers can join Elena Brake at Central Park’s (newish) playground on Saturday morning at 6.42am to reflect upon childhood memories for The Playground at Sunrise. After you’ve had a go on the zip-wire you could hunt nearby for Matthew Raw’s public realm installation, which compliments his Tactile Change exhibition at the Gallery at Plymouth College of Art.
If you prefer a Saturday lie in there is an opportunity to visit Plymouth’s own secret garden by the sea, Stonehouse Lawn Tennis Club, for Drawn to the Lawn from 11:00am. Antonia Texidor and Ellen Sims are inviting weekender to join them for drawing and painting in the fresh air.
Afterwards you can amble over to the Reel Cinema at Derry’s Cross for Everything’s Been Moving All This Time at 2:00pm. Rachel Priest’s site specific performance will engage with anxieties over lost cultural spaces in light of the cinema’s closure early this year. It may not be that far off the beaten track, but this lovely art deco building is easy to miss and is worth a visit considering Plymouth Royal Cinema’s Trust’s fight to preserve it.
On Sunday afternoon Take A Part are populating Teat’s Hill Park and Amphitheatre, which is nestled behind the National Marine Aquarium and looks out over Plymouth Sound. The Art in the Park programme includes family friendly story-telling and making with artists Thrussell and Thrussell (12.30pm-3.30pm) and Far Flung Dance Company’s All at Sea performance (12:00pm-4:00pm) which includes movement and choir workshops. Afterwards you can join members of the North Star Study Group for their Monumental Monument Walk and Talk (meet outside THINQTANQ at 4:00pm) for a fresh and critical perspective on the city’s many historical monuments.
If you find you still have spare time over the weekend, then it could be worth making the journey up to see Space and Place: Brutalism at Plymouth Marjon University; an exhibition of historical photographs from the university’s archives which highlights the modernist vision of architects Kendrick Findley and partners as they built a new home for St Mark’s and St John’s merge and move to Plymouth in the 70’s.
Wherever the weekender takes you, make sure to keep an eye out for Stuart Robinson’s converted 1980’s Volvo, which will be cruising around the city as part of the I’m Westward Ho! project.