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WE BEAT THE BOUNDS Abigail Reynolds, Saturday 14 October 2017, Tate St Ives

Beating of the bounds, 1910 Photo: Courtesy of Tina Machado


We Beat The Bounds is a new work for local choirs by artist Abigail Reynolds, commissioned by Tate St Ives to celebrate the opening of the new gallery. 


In the UK the ancient custom of ‘beating the bounds’ takes the form of a parade around the edge of a legal boundary, such as a village or common land, beating it with a willow wand. 


The choirs will sound the bounds through the galleries with a vocal and percussive score by Gareth Churcher, beginning at 11:00, 14:00 and 18:00, from the loggia. 


image 1 ‘Beating the bounds July 1923 Hungerford Virtual Museum.

image 2 The Borough Council beating the bounds in Penzance. Still from a 1964 amateur film from the BFI collection


The boundary lines of Tate St Ives have been almost doubled by the building of the new gallery spaces. For the opening day, Reynolds will create a performance with two local choirs, drawing on the ancient ceremony of ‘beating the bounds’. Two choirs of local people will trace the full extent of the new bounds, both outside and inside the galleries, occasionally meeting and crossing. They will perform a newly composed piece, Mirrors, sung in a round, pausing to tap with their sticks, an action referencing the traditional beating the bounds ceremony.


Abigail Reynolds Biography

Abigail Reynolds lives in St JustCornwalland has a studioat Porthmeor Studios in St IvesShe was awarded the BMWArt Journey prize at Art Basel in 2016. Her 2016-2017 journey took her to lost libraries along the Silk RoadShecreated a dance work titled Double Fold for the RambertDance company in 2013, and since 2014 she has worked in performance with St Keverne Band in Cornwall, including performances of Double Brass at Kestle BartonReynolds haswork in the Government Art CollectionYale University ArtGalleryNew York Public Libraryand many privatecollectionsShe is represented by ROKEBY Gallery, London.


Choir leaders:

Gareth Churcher / Christine Judge



Keith Allen / Samuel Buller / Maisie Churcher / Millie Churcher / Marian Douglas / Philip Douglas / Christian Guerrini / Ross Hamilton / Orla Harper / Otis Harper / Ralph Heseltine / Maria Heseltine Isobel Kantaris Sian Kelly Stuart MacQuarrie / Laura Nicholas / Amy Laurence


Artist: Abigail Reynolds

Composer: Gareth Churcher

Costume: Sarah Johnson

Production assistant: Millie Ainsley

Curated by: Melanie Stidolph


With thanks to:

The Cornwall Music Service

Andy Harper, Tim Stockings-Baker, ROKEBY gallery London and CAST