Exploring the life and works of Cornish singer, poet and cultural ambassador Brenda Wootton
The life and work of Cornish singer Brenda Wootton was to celebrated in a public exhibition, thanks to support from Arts Council England, National Lottery and FEAST. ‘Mordonnow/Sea Waves,’ and from Penzance-based cultural production company BOSENA. The display highlights a new archive created to document Brenda’s life, alongside the launch of a new audio-visual work from artist Florence Browne.
A Cornish cultural icon and ambassador, Brenda Wootton built an international touring career in the 1980s from her vocal performances, honed in the folk clubs of Penwith. Once a familiar voice of Radio Cornwall, awareness of her achievements has dwindled since her death in 1994, and this long-overdue exhibition and archive project will shine a light on her story and bring her music and poetry to new audiences.
Brenda Wootton grew up in West Cornwall in the 1930s, and with no formal musical training developed a later-life career as an international touring celebrity, especially in France. An unlikely star, by the 1980s she would be recognised by fans on the streets of Paris, though her fame never reached the same scale back home. She left a considerable legacy of songs, many written by close collaborator Richard Gendall and was also a familiar voice to many through her popular Radio Cornwall show ‘Sunday Best’.