Artists stay for free at Camelot Castle Hotel.
Camelot Castle has become one of the most sought after holiday destinations in Britain. Located where Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote “Idylls of the King”, where Elgar composed his second symphony and Turner painted. Camelot Castle looks out over the majestic Tintagel island and the Atlantic. It commands a view that has been known to inspire heathens to prayer.
The hotel has always been a favourite of artists and the guest book reads like a who’s who of the creative minds of the last century. Theories as to why this is the case and why artists have felt compelled to visit this location are as diverse and interesting as the mythology that surrounds the Castle itself. What is not in doubt is the extraordinary benefit and inspiration that artists have experienced as a result of arriving there.
Today any artist who that feels that their creativity or inspiration would benefit from staying at Camelot Castle is eligible to apply for their artist in residence program. Indeed, in the last fourteen months Camelot Castle has activated and helped over three hundred and fifty artists from around the world who have benefited from this program.
The program runs at the discretion of the owners of Camelot, John Mappin and Ted Stourton, and is one of the most exciting, fresh and innovative ideas to influence the creative community for many years.
“The whole purpose of the artist in residence program is to validate and help artists in any way possible. Creating a space for artists that is free from any evaluation or invalidation has been the first step. Artists, which we define as anyone interested in creating a high quality of communication in any media or form are immensely valuable to the culture and should be looked after and helped at every opportunity.”
“Art and creativity has in the past become exclusive and a pursuit of privilege. It is interesting that the root of “exclusive” is to exclude. Actually art can be completely inclusive and available to all people. Art is food for the spirit of all people.”
For that reason instead of turning Camelot Castle into an exclusive hotel for the rich, Mappin and Stourton have ensured that prices stay extremely competitive and it is possible to stay at Camelot for £39 pounds per night which is no more expensive than a bed and breakfast.
“There is also a technical reason that it is vital to help art and artists in the society to flourish: The wavelength of aesthetics and beauty happens to be that wavelength that most closely approximates the human spirit in native state. Many people have experienced what happens to them when they encounter beauty be it in a visual, musical or purely conceptual form. Aesthetics have the ability to raise and help the spirit and in fact acts as a disintegrator wave causing less desirable elements in life to vanish. There is a direct symbiotic relationship between the artists in the society and the society itself. Our very survival is in fact directly linked to the amount of beauty being produced at any one time across our world.
Our artists are those beings that have the extraordinary responsibility of ensuring that beauty continues to be created across the world. Actually it is a tremendous responsibility and is not always easy in a world that appears at times to negate the efforts of the artist or their products. Our artists are the true architects of the future. To be an artist in the current environment takes an extraordinary amount of courage and integrity. We have found that when artists come to Camelot as “Artists in Residence” they get a boost of inspiration and connect up to a source of help and encouragement that is not always present in their lives. Some of the most enjoyable successes that we have had is with kids from the inner city schools who come here and experience Camelot and the extraordinary natural beauty here for the first time. You can see a light go on inside of them and you just know that nothing will or can ever extinguish it.”
“It is very easy to take the creativity of artists for granted. Our own view is that any effort in the direction of helping artists is repaid one thousand times over so we continue to help and welcome artists to stay as part of the Artists in Residence Program as often as we can.”
“Camelot is the first in a chain of hotels that we have planned in Mythological locations around the world. Each of those hotels will welcome artists in the same way and will continue the tradition of helping artists that has successfully begun at Camelot.”
Who qualifies as an artist for the program? On this Mappin and Stourton agree :
“As soon as some one says they are an artist, why then they are one. The decision to create is probably one of the most powerful decisions that a being ever makes and by validating that decision and giving it a window of space to be nurtured it is extraordinary what can occur.”