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Former school transformed with artworks

By West Briton  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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MORE than 1,000 people entered the 'dark side' during a two-day exhibition which saw 40 artists take over a former secondary school in Helston.

Photographers, sculptors, painters, performance artists, film-makers and art students took part in The Dark Rooms exhibition staged at the Passmore Edwards building.

Known locally as 'the green school' because of the uniforms worn by its pupils, the school closed and was used as a community centre for 30 years until 2010.

It was finally sold by Helston Town Council last year and recently taken on by Cornubian Arts and Science Trust (Cast) to establish artists' studios and host workshops, screenings and other activities.

The originator of the event, Jesse Leroy Smith, approached the trustees of Cast asking to use the building before they moved in.

She invited artists to transform every room in the old school building into an individual work of art which was seen by about 1,000 people on February 2 and 3.

Artist Ben Sanderson used weathered plywood boards that had covered the upper windows of the building as supports for painted images of Helston's history, including its lost branch-line railway, the viaduct across the river Cober, the tin mines and the story of Helston-born boxer Bob Fitzsimmons.

Students from Falmouth University's master's degree in curatorial practice also created a show within the show, featuring work by current bachelor's and master's students.

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  • Cornubian  |  February 07 2013, 1:34PM

    Jesse Leroy Smith is a man! - an artist, based in Newlyn, and known throughout West Cornwall for the extraordinary projects he organises. In just two days 'The Dark Rooms' attracted an enthusiastic audience of over a thousand people. The old Passmore Edwards building at 3 Penrose Road in Helston was humming with excitement. Here are some photos of 'The Dark Rooms': http://tinyurl.com/aotyugt