The Unnatural History of Cornwall – curated by Dr. Amy Hale brings stories of the weird and wonderful from Cornwall to a wider audience, with an emphasis on Cornish voices from the past and the present.

Speaker: Tony ‘Doc’ Shiels arrived in St Ives, Cornwall in 1958, a hopeful and ambitious young artist. For a few years his painting career went well, but he grew impatient with the limitations of abstract art. Instead, emboldened by Dada and Surrealism, his life became stranger and more magical. He displayed the disembodied head of an Egyptian princess, sawed a woman in half, and carried out some bizarre monster-raising stunts involving Morgawr the Cornish sea serpent. He included his wife, children and friends in many of these exploits and, indeed, after appearing in the national media, in the mid-1970s they became briefly known across Britain as ‘The weirdest family in the land’.

Curator: Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta-based anthropologist and folklorist writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall in various combinations. Her biography of Ithell Colquhoun, Genius of the Fern Loved Gully, is available from Strange Attractor Press, and she is also the editor of the forthcoming collection Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses from Palgrave Macmillan. Other writings can be found at her Medium site and her website