During Golowan Festival you’ll see, in each of the Mazey Day Parades, wonderful parade structures which have been imaginatively designed and created to fit each year’s festival theme by artists, children and staff from local schools. Below is a little info from a couple of our artists and images of parade pieces they have worked on.
Amanda Lorens is a freelance visual artist and art educator based in Penzance. She is a highly experienced workshop leader specialising in leading sculpture workshops, giant carnival image making, lantern making, animation filmmaking, as well as general mixed media art workshops with young people. She works in primary and secondary schools with children of all ages and abilities as well as galleries, collages and for arts festivals all over the country. Amanda is one of the Golowan festivals founding artists, working in local primary and secondary schools for many many years making some of the magnificent giant processional images that you see parading through the town on Mazey Day.
Chris Nixon has been involved in the Golowan Festival for 21 years, in various rôles.
He has a studio at Krowji in Redruth… making paintings and 3D work.
He works as a community artist in education, outdoor celebration, and theatre.
I’m David Eddy and have had the immense pleasure of working with both Mousehole and Newlyn schools on their Golowan images over the past fifteen years. In that time I have created a wide variety of images, from large animals to curious machines, but some that stand out as favourites for me include the Indian elephant, the statue of Athena, the fully rigged Newlyn sailing lugger and Merlin the magician. Of course, it’s not just the images but the wide variety of people I have worked alongside that make Golowan so special. From the helpers, the parents and children in the schools to my fellow artists, organisers and volunteers who never fail to help others whenever needed.
For me, Golowan is certainly a highlight of the year, and it seems so strange to be here in June without a thousand ideas running through my mind, and the annual feeling that I’ll never get everything finished in time!
When I’m not painting or making things, I’m a qualified primary school teacher, and have current enhanced DBS, safeguarding and first aid certificates. If you are interested in my work or information about me working with your school, community group or business, I can be contacted on 07717004287, or email: email@example.com .
My first Golowan was in1996, soon after I’d arrived in Cornwall, when I was blown away by the exuberant spirit, the blast of colour, the spectacular parades and the delightful people I met. The following year, I joined in with the banner workshop at St. Johns Hall, a huge space filled with fabric and enthusiasm. Somewhere I would be spending a lot of time.
I’ve been involved with the festival nearly every year since, making parade images, flags and banners. I started by volunteering and assisting others, before taking on my own projects and teaching others to make things. I’ve also been an office assistant, automata shop worker, archivist, schools co-ordinator and parade steward for Golowan.
I now spend most of my year making things for parades and decorating the streets. How wonderful! My other main festivals are Lafrowda in St. Just and City of Lights in Truro, although I like to work further afield sometimes. I also make masks and costumes for carnival and theatre, paint signs, and make paintings, prints and crafts.
I run workshops for all ages to teach skills related to the above, in locations as diverse as music festivals, stately homes and woodlands, but most often with school and community groups.
The first giant puppet I made on my own for Golowan was Cinderella’s prince in 2004. Walking on the coast path I would often see a single shoe and wonder what had happened to its owner (and the other shoe). It reminded me of the Cinderella story, so I made a prince with a sandy flipflop on a velvet cushion searching for its wearer.
I’ve been making parade images with Gulval school since 2007. The first year was Willy Wonka’s head, then twin merfolk, a knocker from the mines, Medusa, an octopus, a peacock, James and the Giant Peach, The Hungry Caterpillar, a whale, Peter Rabbit, and last year, a Green Sea Turtle. For this project, it’s my job to get the shape and carrying frame constructed, and make sure any movement in the giant puppet works well. The school and its supportive parents then take care of papering and finishing touches. They always put so much effort in, it makes me proud. I’m always charmed to see what each class has made to carry and wear to go with the big structure.
For four years, I worked with Penwith College staff and students to make The Bahari Bird, St Michael’s Mount, a narwhal, and the Nightwalker from Princess Mononoke
I was commissioned to make Jack and Anne the giant pirates for Mazey Day, who usually make an appearance at Pirate Day.
I was part of the team making Mazey banners and seafront flags for a long time and have run the town flag project since 2017. The first year I made tropical bird and musical instrument designs. The following year four types of Cornish wildlife. Last year, PZ in four lettering styles inspired by ‘50s motel signs.
Previously to that I designed flags with carps, egrets, a swallow tattoo, and runners for the sea front.
This year’s 71 new town centre flags, you’ll probably have seen, include 25 fishermen and 25 farmers from some drawings about Cornish livelihoods. There is a rainbow to salute the key workers. There are 20 cyclists to welcome the Tour of Britain cycle race in September, although this has now been postponed. There are 4 colours of bicycle on the flags, each cyclist has a different outfit, and all are cycling past St. Michaels’s Mount. Then there are 100 repairs of past years’ flags. Thanks to the team that help cut and sew.
It’s been fun looking back at memories of midsummer euphoria, surreal moments, music filled streets, and happy faces. What a joy to be involved. Let’s do it again!
In my role as an artist, my first Golowan was 1996 when commissioned by them to build a large willow processional sculpture, I made a giant Green Man, with blinking and swivelling eyes. An established favourite he came out again in 1997 crewed by a maverick gang of ale heads ,while my wife and myself carried my new make, a fireball/comet, made at the Nancherrow youth centre, St Just, where, inspired by Golowan we started our own Lafrowda Day.
Mazey day 1998, where on a trolley from the closed Shippams paste factory at Longrock, I constructed a 17 foot tall sea witch, with sharpened teeth, swivelling hips, sea urchin eyes and a net full of skulls, she made a few dogs bark and a few children cry. Liking that effect in 1999 I made a 25ft long, 15ft tall, black eclipse dragon with an enormous swishing tail, as it bucked and strained at its chains, it was led fearlessly by my sword wielding six year old daughter Isobel.
These are my first years as a Golowan artist, where I learnt my trade, where I discovered how to bring my processional puppets alive, to enchant and excite the crowd, when I discovered the power and importance of great public art.
Since then I have made many Golowan sculptures and have been working since 2010 for Mounts Bay Academy as their lead artists. Here are a few of the things I have made;- two blue horses; a Tin Miner with his rock drill; a giant Squid; a noble Greek Warrior and a flaming fiery Dragon, you might remember them or some others as everyone seems to have their favourite.