The Cornish Photographic Archive
At the centre of the Coinagehall Street Project is our vision for the creation of a nationally important centre for photography and film with, at its heart, a modern and evolving photographic archive for the whole of Cornwall. Such a centre for photography would bring together archival and contemporary work from local and international photographers and image makers, establishing a core archive drawing together collections from sources around the county, and showing exhibitions that celebrate and highlight local, national and international photographers and their work, as well as displaying the rich heritage of Cornwall ’s social history in photographs. An important part of the Centre’s programme will be the staging of a Cornwall Photography Festival similar to that held by Les Recontres d’Arles Foto Festival in the South of France (attracting over 72,000 visitors over a three month period).
Provision would be made for a commercial art gallery, a coffee house and sandwich bar, and even a first rate auctioneer’s gallery, as well as a media suite, sound studios, editing suites, photographic studios, workshops, darkrooms, education and learning facilities.
As Tate St Ives has succeeded in transforming the tourist potential in St Ives, so a Centre for Photography will likewise create a huge potential for increased tourism in Penzance . It will provide a key destination for the casual visitor to Penzance, the art enthusiast, and the local resident exploring their heritage and even their ancestry in Cornwall. A Photographic Centre and Photo Archive for Penzance could be a reality, and a resounding success not just for the town, but for the whole of Cornwall.