The locals will tell you where to find Lepers Well – it's on the riverside just upstream from the Town Mill. Previously, we have brought art to the site with the hope that it would fit harmoniously. This year, the aim was higher, the challenge was to establish a site specific work which responded to the site's actual history. Millie Laing-Tate is a recent graduate from Falmouth whose 'Back to Basics' installation at Delamore House had caught my eye last May. You can see more about that here.


Millie accepted the challenge. Here is what she says about her Lepers Well installation, which is called 'Wrapt'.


"Directly influenced by this site and its origins, the materials reflect the nature and ‘fabric’ of the building that stood here hundreds of years ago. Once a 14th century medieval hospital, all that now remains is the well which was used solely to supply water to the patients, many of whom suffered from leprosy.

"Growing and breathing, the trees act as the pillars around which everything is wrapped and suspended, highlighting the important role they play in our everyday lives. Stitched bedsheets and blue lias stone reference both interior and exterior features of the hospital. Placed in a new context, they morph into one another to form a reinvented structure which occupies the border between the well and the river, forming a link between the two separate water courses.

"Connected by primary colours and string and left open to the unpredictable elements, the materials highlight the fragility of our shelters and question our attempts to make them secure. Unattached and moveable elements heighten this sense of instability and allow for the possibility of change and reconstruction, whereby the old can be transformed into the new." 

There are pictures galore already but you should take your own. It's a massive intervention but one which we hope is achieved without disrupting the good vibe at the site, and one which pays due homage to its long history. Some have already made it clear that 'Wrapt' succeeds in this regard, and some have made it clear that it does not.

'Art divides', says Millie. 'How true', says John.


Published on 23/08/2016.

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