Saturday 17 March 2018

'Last supper' in landslip house

Artist Kane Cunnigham's house is at the mercy of cliff erosion at Knipe Point, near Scarborough
Artist Kane Cunnigham's house is at the mercy of cliff erosion at Knipe Point, near Scarborough

An artist has hosted a "last supper" in a house teetering dangerously on top of a cliff in a bid to highlight issues such as the environment and politics.

Kane Cunningham, 48, invited 12 guests, including former international development secretary Clare Short, to the dinner at the house at Knipe Point in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, which he said has a "finite life span" and could collapse over the edge of the cliff any time.

He bought the property for £3,000 in December last year and said he decided to use it for it as a venue for the event as it encapsulates many of society's desires but also highlights its failings.

"Without being too poetic," he said, "the house is the host - the house had invited the people. It's an entity in its own right and it's going to go, it's going to die."

He selected his guest list to represent a variety of different view points - as well as Ms Short, other guests included Fred Normandale, a fisherman and President of the National Federation of Fishermen, vicar-turned-writer GP Taylor, and Michelin starred chef James Mackenzie, who also catered the dinner.

Any topic was served up at the meal, Mr Cunningham said, and guests were not worried about the possibility of the makeshift restaurant sliding southwards over the cliff edge.

"The real problem was just co-ordinating diaries," he said, "Once I'd approached people they all said fine. It's about talking through issues that people think are important and trying to come up with some sort of solution."

Ms Short said she jumped at the chance to attend Mr Cunningham's dinner party, despite the risks.

She said: "I just found it quirky and sort of interesting and just sort of said yes."

The two houses next door to Mr Cunningham's bungalow have already gone, they were demolished before they could be taken over the edge of the cliff. The Last Supper was filmed, photographed and painted for an exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery in 2011.

Press Association

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