Tate St Ives Special Event

Launch Weekend Event We Beat The Bounds

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 entrance to the gallery.

With thanks to:

The Cornwall Music Service Trust
Andy Harper, Tim Stockings-Baker, ROKEBY Gallery London and CAST

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 using the voice and tapping with sticks, an action referencing the traditional beating the bounds ceremony.

Abigail Reynolds Biography

Abigail Reynolds lives in St Just, Cornwall, and has a studio at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. She was awarded the BMW Art Journey prize at Art Basel in 2016. Her 2016-2017 journey took her to lost libraries along the Silk Road. She created a dance work titled Double Fold for the Rambert Dance company in 2013, and since 2014 she has worked in performance with St Keverne Band in Cornwall, including performances of Double Brassat Kestle Barton. Reynolds has work in the Government Art Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, New York Public Library, and many private collections. She 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 / Sian Kelly / Stuart MacQuarrie / Laura Nicholas / Amy Laurence / Emily Shepherd

Artist: Abigail Reynolds

Composer: Gareth Churcher

Costume: Sarah Johnson

Production assistant: Millie Ainsley

Curated by: Melanie Stidolph

Beating The Bounds archive photo

Beating the bounds July 1923, from Hungerford Virtual Museum

Beating The Bounds archive photo

Still from a 1964 amateur film. The Borough Council beating the bounds in Penzance courtesy of BFI Player

Tate St Ives

Porthmeor Beach
St Ives
Cornwall TR26 1TG
Plan your visit


14 October 2017 at 11.00–12.00

14 October 2017 at 14.00–15.00

14 October 2017 at 18.00–19.00

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