About Golow Gas
The focus of this project, Golow Gas (Cornish for gaslight) is to give the community of Redruth, especially young people, an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the achievements of William Murdoch, especially his innovations around coal-fired gaslight. Despite being a notable local figure, there is surprisingly little readily available information in Redruth about the detail or science behind his inventions. We aim to create an enjoyable investigative project finding unusual ways to make this heritage inspiring for young people and adults alike.
Using film as a creative method of engagement with heritage themes, we are working with young people from Pennoweth School, Redruth and students from the Cornwall College Contemporary Creative Practice BA, to create tangible outcomes whilst helping the young people to share what they have learnt in a creative way. The primary school project will have a simple framework, firstly visiting the Cornish Studies Library and Murdoch House, making their own research investigations into Murdoch and his inventions, with support from the library, Redruth Story Society and Café Scientifique. This will be followed by a hands-on heritage light-making workshop, giving a physical experience of the history of lightmaking, followed by artist-led animation workshops, with Lizzie Black, to create a film to be shown at the library during the Cornwall Film Festival. A leaflet will also be created, contributing to local heritage organisations’ outreach. The secondary school project takes a more complex approach, starting with art and photography students making a field research trip, filming physical markers of the town’s lighting heritage. Filmed experiments will also be made into the qualities of different lighting, asking, “how might differences in light making technologies have affected people’s lived experience?” Films will be completed through artist-led workshops and be shown at Murdoch House as part of the Cinestar/CFF film programme. An important aspect of this project is the way in which the
sharing of the young people’s creative outcomes will create heritage engagement opportunities for their families and the wider community, through the interest and enthusiasm of the young people for the heritage they have discovered. Ongoing opportunities for sharing the films have been offered by Murdoch House.