How Feminism Me via SciFi Led to Digital Art - 26th September, 7.30pm

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This will be an informal evening of entertainment with readings, film clips and images presented by Prof Penny Florence. Please note that we ARE selling tickets for this event, see below for more details.

Penny Florence will take us on entertaining, illustrated ramble through the ways in which feminism can save your life, whatever your sex. While this is a personal journey, the evening is not about her autobiography. Rather it aims to explore how new meanings can be invented. On the way, the talk (interruptions welcome) will range across writing, poetry, direct action, playing the drumkit, going busking to Barcelona, consciousness raising, filmmaking and academia, the joys and struggles of the Women's Movement and making a living while making art.

Penny Florence has published numerous books, articles and poetry. She has presented digital poetry at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and internationally and shown films at independent festivals and venues including the Brixton Ritzy, Watershed Bristol, and, way back, Norwich Women's Film Festival.

She is Professor Emerita at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Tickets: £4.50, £2.50 concessions - please book via Eventbrite for this event.

More information:

The Origins of West Penwith - 25th July, 7.30pm



Due to high demand we’ve introduced a booking system for this event, tickets are still free.

BOOK HERE as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

In this illustrated talk, Professor Michelle Brown will explore the origins of west Penwith, from prehistory to the 16th century, its expansive international relationships and the construction of its own unique cultural identity. Megalithic monuments, sacred landscapes, early monasteries, holy wells and wayside crosses, inscribed stones, frescoes, manuscripts, metalwork, passion plays and pilgrim paths will interweave to form a distinctive Cornish cultural plaid.

Free entry and donations welcome, this is sure to be a fascinating evening!

Michelle P. Brown FSA
Professor Emerita, SAS, University of London
Visiting Professor, University College London

Small Promethean Acts: Immersive Sculptural Installation

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Small Promethean Acts is a project that combines sculptural installation with sound. Celebrating invisible domestic acts, the project aims to collect and share short stories of the smallest acts of care that make a big difference to other’s lives.

Fri 12th July 5-8pm: This open evening is your chance to be immersed in the installation and meet artist Delpha Hudson! Free entry, and no need to book.

The following day:
Sat 13th July 10-4pm: Please come and share your own short domestic acts of caring.

14th July - 16th August: Exhibition continues with individual sculptures on display at the Hypatia Trust which can be viewed when Hypatia is open for other events.

Unsung Heroines: Cornish Women's Working Songs - 7.30pm, 13th June

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History brought to life through song! An illustrated talk from Chris Symons with folksong performance, which tells some of the stories of the contribution made by women to the heavy tasks done during the Industrial Revolution 1750 to 1900.

This promises to be a fascinating and entertaining evening, exploring folksong and women's work, putting the spotlight on female labour for a change.

Free entry and donations welcome, doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

An Opener to the Future


Trustees, friends, and colleagues in great number came together on Easter Saturday 2019 for a dual celebration:  Melissa’s 80th birthday, and the gifting of the lease to the newly-completed Trust headquarters on Chapel Street, Penzance to its Trustees (997 years remaining!). 

Melissa and Phil purchased it three years ago and until now have been working hard with our trusty gang of volunteers to make it ready for community use and civic service into the future (quite an achievement when you realise that we bought it as a derelict late-night bar & nightclub!). The day was sunny and warm – and the champers slid down a treat – the cakes were scrumptious (made by Louise Hosken of the Penzance Tennis Club).  In a witty speech (says Melissa & everyone agreed) Phil gave a brief report about how they met and the way in which the Trust was formed more than a quarter of a century ago, and grew into a registered charity in the educational world. 
The transfer document to Hypatia House (offices and residence) was received by Trustee Andrew Bell on behalf of the Hypatia trustees as a gesture of confidence in a worthwhile and sustainable future for the organisation. Some small brooches based on a replica of the Hypatia logo made by the artist Felix Faulkner in about 1990, were presented to the Hypatia trustees currently in office, and to several others who have worked hard for the Trust over recent years.  They will continue to be awarded as significant landmark projects are achieved – and as Melissa advised: ‘they can be earned’ through your hard work in community service. 

Phil Budden

Victorian Burlesque - A Talk with Ian Lowell, 23rd May 7-9pm

Ian Lowell will be presenting an illustrated talk on a unique aspect of the history of theatre known in Victorian times as 'burlesque'.

Not to be confused with contemporary usage, Victorian burlesques originally challenged traditional rôles both on stage and in society.

Burlesques burst into Victorian theatres at the time women were challenging male assumptions with a young queen on the throne, a developing literate middle class, and economic and industrial change. Burlesco was a word coined in sixteenth century Italy and was comically portrayed in the slapstick of Commedia dell’Arte. But travesty had its genesis in Aristophanes’s Athenian comedies of the fifth century BC. This evening looks at the history of Burlesque from Ancient Greece to Victorian tease, with a note on its sad demise at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Ian's talk will begin with Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata before looking at the slapstick and physical comedy of Harlequin et al, before taking a quick look at the relationship with modern burlesque too.

Free entry but donations welcome, doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm kick off.

Mother & Child - Exhibition of Works by Diana Dixon with Evening Event, 11th May


An exhibition comes to Hypatia!

Mother and Child is a special temporary installation of ceramic sculpture inspired by the work of Henry Moore. Diana was very much inspired by his work and interviewed him on one afternoon in February 1978. Notes made from the meeting have been added to The Henry Moore Foundation archive and will also be displayed with the work. Come and view the work during the day from 10-5pm, and meet Diana at the finissage event in the evening from 5-8pm.

From Monday 13th May - Friday 14th June pieces of sculpture from the installation will still be on view at the Hypatia base in Chapel Street, but please note the premises are not staffed full-time. Do contact us if you’d like to be sure of a viewing and we can make arrangements.

Information updates here.

'Women’s Writes' Workshop with Diana Dixon - Thursday 13th June, 1-4pm


A hands-on workshop in June! We're expecting the 10 places to go quickly so book asap.

Cost: £22 (including materials) Max 10 people

To coincide with Diana Dixon’s sculpture on show at the Hypatia Trust Diana will be leading a workshop using clay and writing using sgraffito techniques. As well as working as a poet and sculptor Diana has years of experience working as a clay therapist and will lead this themed workshop around incising figurines with your own stories and legends with reference to archetypal female imagery and classical sculpture.

All materials and clay provided. An expensive quality self-hardening clay will be available so that you will be able to take you work home with you.

Please book a place via Eventbrite.

Valuing the Grassroots : Contemporary Art in and Beyond the Gallery - 25th April, 7-9pm

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The last talk in our current Creative Network series, funded by Cultivator! Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start, free entrance and refreshments provided.

Cat Bagg and Rosie Allen have worked together collaboratively as Field Notes since 2014, to curate, commission and produce contemporary art, creating a platform to support emerging artists and new audiences.

Cat will join us to talk about their curatorial approach to showing and commissioning artists beyond the gallery.

She'll give an overview of some of their experiences, including; the founding of artist led Inland Art Festival, in Redruth, 2014; producing projects for artists and voluntary groups; and creating independent commissioning programmes.

She'll also give a more focused insight into the planning of Hummadruz, at Newlyn Art Gallery in 2018. The exhibition explored the overarching, infinite rhythms of nature, folklore, and witchcraft. It brought together works by inspiring 20th century women whose practices span the realms of art, feminism, and the occult including Monica Sjöö, Ithell Colquhoun, Jill Smith and Mary Beth Edleson alongside artefacts and archive materials from The Museum of Witchcraft and works by contemporary artists.

Plant-Based Poetry Making Day with SAPling Innovation - 30th March, 10-4pm


As part of the Cultivator-funded series of Creative Network events at the Hypatia Trust, we are very pleased to be hosting a free whole-day event with refreshments provided with the Singing Apple Press (SAP)! Please book your place via Eventbrite, as there is a maximum of 30 places.

Come and join us for an introduction to the work of the press, hands-on workshops, poetry readings & performance. This day is a unique opportunity to work with two language artists whose innovative practices span page-based poetry, performance, photography and fine art - all in relation to plants.

Camilla Nelson is editor and curator of Radical Landscapes (The Plough), and with SAP artist, Caroline Harris and they will present this whole day of plant-based poetry-making.

This links beautifully to other events at the Hypatia Trust some of which focus on women, plants and flowers as part of their Gardeners' House Project. For more information:

Schedule For the Day:

10-11.25 Workshops (parallel sessions)

1) SAPling Innovation Explore language art with Camilla Nelson and plant-printing techniques.
2) SCRUB Caroline Harris will showcase her 2018 SAP work, SCRUB, with a short reading & workshop to share her poetry making methods.

Coffee break

11.40-12.30 Camilla Nelson will share SAP books, and talk through the Radical Landscapes exhibition curated for The Plough Gallery, Devon (21st March - 21st April 2019). It explores the continuum between drawn, painted and written marks in language- & landscape-making.

12.30-1.30 free lunch

1.30-3 Workshops (parallel sessions)

1) SAPling Innovation Explore language art with Camilla Nelson and plant-printing techniques.
2) SCRUB Caroline Harris will showcase her 2018 SAP work, SCRUB, with a short reading & workshop to share her poetry making methods.

3-3.30 Q & A // Discussion

Bad Endings & the Afterlives of Greenham Common - 16th March, 4-6pm

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As part of the Cultivator-funded series of creative network events at the Hypatia Trust, Alexandra will present: 'Bad endings and the afterlives of Greenham Common'. The talk is free and refreshments will be provided! Do book a place via Eventbrite if you can as this gives us an idea of how many people to expect.

This talk begins by reconsidering the unsatisfactory conclusion of a published article by the speaker on the strategic mobilisation of the maternal - and maternal mourning in particular - as a defence against the 'pantoclastic' threat of nuclear world war. Kokoli's reflection on the mobilisation of mourning and mother-and-child iconographies in the visual and material cultures of the peace camp at Greenham Common ended with an anti-authoritarian reclamation of failure as an antidote to war-bound triumphalism in the writings on Virginia Woolf and Jacqueline Rose. Beyond psychoanalytic theory and feminist anti-war discourse, however, failure is evoked all too often in assessments of the legacies of the women's peace camp at Greenham Common and similar occupations and activist initiatives. Such assessments of Greenham Common's successes and failures will be revisited in order to reframe and complicated them: in addition to questioning the meaning of 'failure' in pacifist contexts, I propose new understandings of Greenham and its legacies as an alternative uncanny dwelling; a durational performative artwork; and a school for art and activism.

About Alexandra
: Dr. Alexandra Kokoli is Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at Middlesex University London and Research Associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. An art historian and theorist originally trained in comparative literature, Kokoli researches the aesthetic mobilisation of discomfort to political ends, focusing on art practices informed by and committed to feminism, the fraught but fertile relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis, mourning and shame. She curated ‘Burnt Breakfast’ and other works by Su Richardson (Goldsmiths, 2012) and, with Basia Sliwinska, Home Strike (l'étrangère, 2018), and has published widely on feminism, art and visual culture in journals including Art Journal, Women and Performance, n.paradoxa, Performance Research, Oxford Art Journal and Hypatia. Her books include The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (2016); and (as editor) Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference (2008); and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller, 1977-2007 (2008). Kokoli is currently researching the legacies of the women's peace camp at Greenham Common and, more broadly, the aesthetics and politics of feminist anti-nuclear activism.


Image Credit: Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, main gate, c.1983. Photograph by Sigrid Møller, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; slides scanned by Holger Terp, June 2006.

'Doing What We Can' - Book Launch, 16th Feb 4-6pm

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Come along and listen to some readings from the book, have a chat, be inspired, while enjoying a piece or two of homemade cake.

The Myrtles came together many a year ago here in Cornwall. The love of rug hooking, which they all share, began the “Myrtles”. What started as a pur hooking group, expanded a great deal over time, as they explored our creativity in lots of different ways. They love to inspire others to find their inner creativity, and share their knowledge in workshops.

'For the sake of adding more positivity to this world, which we think is greatly needed, we decided on writing our book. It celebrates the joy of life, the friendship and our inventive imagination.
We hope that it shows, that one does not need a lot to achieve a joyful state of mind, just “do what you can with what you have, where you are”. - Brigitte Kaufhold

More information here.

'Breaking Out of the Plate' - Botanical Art Talk with Dominica Williamson, 28th Feb 7.30pm

Photo Credit: Andy Hughes

Photo Credit: Andy Hughes

Doors open 7pm, Thursday 28th February. Talk starts at 7.30pm. Free places can be booked here.

As part of the Cultivator funded creative network series, Dominica Williamson will take us on an interactive plant journey that starts with a look at the Hypatia Trust archives and the Eden Project Florilegium Society. She will then focus on how she is slowly drawing and modelling ecosystems through studying and creating traditional botanical plates, and by looking at plants that are indigenous and non-indigenous through the sciences, and through embedded knowledge and people’s feelings.

Dominica is an artist working in the field of interdisciplinary design and sustainability and new materialism. After completing a Leverhulme Artist in Residence with the University of Plymouth, her practice around plants has blossomed. She has co-worked with scientists and communities on a Global Challenges Research Fund during which Mangrove forests became integral to the project. Currently she is co-creating landscape-based work on a pan European cultural project called Ruritage.

Feminist Duration Reading Group - 2-6pm, Saturday 26th January

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Feminist readings, networking and cake! Thanks to Cultivator we’re delighted to be able to host this free event at the end of this month. To be assured of a place please register a place on Eventbrite.

The Feminist Duration Reading Group was set up in London in 2015 to explore lesser-known feminist texts from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition, combining this with discussions of current feminist issues and urgencies.

On their visit to Hypatia, Giulia Antonioli, Sabrina Fuller, and Helena Reckitt of the FDRG will share texts and inspiration from black feminist writings, Italy and Indonesia.

No advance reading is required as we will read texts out loud together and then discuss.

2pm networking and coffee

2.30-45pm introduction to the FDRG and our visitors Giulia Antonioli, Sabrina Fuller, and Helena Reckitt

3.00- 4.30pm reading and discussion sessions

5.00-6.00pm informal networking and refreshments

More information:

The Feminist Duration Reading Group welcomes everyone to explore the feminist legacy and its resonance in art, thinking and collective practice. If there are enough people who are interested in forming a local reading group we may also discuss the viability of this.

Details about The Feminist Duration Reading Group, London can be found here.

Texts to be Read: (Copies will be made available)

Milan Women’s Bookshop Collective, The Practice of Doing, in Sexual Difference: A Theory of Social- Symbolic Practice, trans. Patricia Cicogna and Teresa de Lauretis, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Hazel V Carby, White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood, in The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain, edited by the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1982.

Khairani Barokka, ‘Moon Dances with Three Planets,’ ‘Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee,’ and ‘Coffee Monologues,’ (excerpts from solo spoken word/art show Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee) in Poems and other myths: a collection of spoken word poetry by women from Asia, Big Bridge Press, 2016.

Khairni Barokka, Indigenous Species, London: Tilted Axis Press, 2016 (selections)

First Event of 2019! Book Art from the Heart - A Conversation with Patricia Chupa

Wednesday 16th January, doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start (no booking necessary) 

This free event is for anyone curious about book arts, hoping to try their hand at making, bookbinding, already engaged in the creating of, or wishing to help nurture activities in support of book artists.

The evening’s conversation will include a presentation of the book art piece, ‘Kernow Foremothers: A Homage to the Ferris Women of St. Agnes, Cornwall’, being given to the Hypatia Trust for its collection.

Patricia will show images and remark on some of her works (many of which now reside with private collectors in many states in the US; in the Artist’s Book Collection of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art in Washington State; and also, in Penzance, Cornwall.) 

Rounding off the evening, she will give a brief history of the origin and progress of the Puget Sound Book Artists organisation – and share encouragement for the activities and efforts of the book arts community in Cornwall. A short Q & A may follow. A handout of useful information and links will also be available. 

About Patricia: Patricia Chupa is now retired from a varied working life as a teacher, bookseller, and senior library circulation supervisor. Over the last 10 years, her work has been in exhibitions in Tacoma and Olympia, WA; Dallas, TX; Bristol and Cornwall, UK, Blissfully, she is now able to devote much more time to the making of book art and bookbinding. She has been at it now for over 28 years.

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Writing Classes Coming Up


An intense 4 session course with further creative writing writing exercises and discussion to strengthen description, atmosphere and imagery.

You’ll work on several key topics each week such as:

  • contemporising/re-imagining myth and stories

  • symbolism and surrealism

  • writing creative non fiction

  • review and critique

  • discussion and individual work

See this short introductory video to introduce the course, and contact Linda Cleary: for booking and information.

Christmas Party at Hypatia - 13th December, 7-9pm

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Come one and all to our HypeWomen Christmas Social, an informal event with mulled wine, mince pies and networking! Bring and share your upcycled/homemade Christmas present ideas (or steal someone else’s!) and meet friends old and new. Christmas jumpers welcome! Festivities from 7pm.

To find us, the new Hypatia Headquarters are situated in the lower ground floor of The Regent, 54 Chapel Street. Turn left down Custom House Lane (as your walk down Chapel Street) and we’re the grey door on the left a little way down.

Hope to see you there!

More information can be found here.

Mary Ann Tocker Research Accepted on Wikipedia!

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Catherine Horrell has been researching the fascinating life of Mary Ann Tocker (1778 - 1853) as part of the push to redress the gender balance in Wikipedia biographies. Catherine stumbled across this story as she was researching her own family history:

‘Mary Ann Tocker (1778 – 1853) was born in Tregony, Cornwall and tried for Libel at Bodmin in 1818. Acting in her own defence, she drew attention to corrupt electoral practices and the arrogance of men in Judicial office who thought they were above the Law.

Mary Ann had written an anonymous letter published in the West Briton. In it she exposed the behaviour of a Stannary Court Judge who had obtained office by electioneering. When he discovered she was the writer, he accused her of libel. She could prove that he had both neglected his duties while himself in jail and that he had taken bribes. In 1818, it was not a lawful defence against Libel to argue that statements were true or in the public interest. However, Mary Ann argued against the absurdity of the law. She quoted from celebrated Libel cases and used moral philosophy to make her case. She stood up to the judge when he interrupted or blocked her attempts to give evidence. She finished by appealing to the common sense of the jurors: "I trust that it will be seen this day, that it is more hazardous to commit a crime, than to publish that crime when committed.''

Despite the Judge's instructions, the jurors found her not guilty. Mary Ann's victory was rightly celebrated as 'triumph of virtue' over bribery and corruption. She had triumphed in a male domain and influenced other woman radicals. Why is she not better known today?’

Read Catherine’s full Wikipedia article here.