Hi, I’m Carol, an artist working mainly in handmade paper, painting and print. My art investigates absence and loss in relation to people, memory and place. I started as artist in residence on 24 June 2019 and during my residency I have been researching the Wheal Martyn archive as well as sketching and painting on site.

Many of the sketches and paintings are on my own handmade paper that contains china clay from Wheal Martyn’s own pit. My investigations of the site became focussed mainly on the absence of the Martyn family home, Carthew House, which was demolished in 1972 to make way for the expanding china clay pit.

An enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic and three lockdowns interrupted my time here so I returned to my residency on 14th April 2021. Thankfully, Wheal Martyn have been great and my residency is now extended to September 2021. The work here also forms part of my studies for a Master’s degree on the Illustration Authorial Practice course at Falmouth University. For much of lockdown, I concentrated on theoretical research and writing my dissertation so I still kept very busy.

I had hoped the end of the last lockdown would be the end of disruption to my residency but, on the morning of 16th May 2021 I received the devastating news that there was a fire at Krowji in Redruth, which is the largest artists’ hub in Cornwall. 15 studios were completely destroyed, including my own. Sadly, this means that nearly all of the work I have done over the course of my residency has been lost. I find it ironic that my art is about absence and loss but now the art itself is lost!

After a period of grieving my studio and work, I am determined to rise to the challenge of re-building my art practice and continuing with my work here at Wheal Martyn. I’m back on site and continuing work on my project, more details of which will be revealed later!