This year we have received support from Arts Council England to commission 3 original arts projects for the event, all exploring the idea of a pocket of paradise in some way:
Eco-artist and gardener Su Hurrell (https://www.ladybirdsu.com/) will be creating pop up garden for the festival weekend. Inspired by Islamic Garden design, with tactile, aromatic and strongly shaped plants centred around a small solar powered water feature, the garden will be a place to step out of the hustle and bustle and enjoy some quiet contemplation.
The Garden is in ‘The triangle’ next to Etruria Industrial Museum and will be open 10am-5pm both days.
Su explains some of the research behind her designs:
This pop-up garden is based on two key themes I came across whilst researching Islamic gardens. The first is the idea of the ‘quartered garden’ or ‘Chahᾱr Bᾱgh’, with each segment representing different aspects of earthly and heavenly life; earth, water, air and fire. Persian paradise gardens aim to create a representation of an earthly utopia in which humans co-exist with all elements of Nature, and such gardens are referred to in the Qur’an.
Secondly, I found the geometric patterns found in Islamic gardens fascinating. Their roots lie in algebra, the expression of mathematical ideas. The literal meaning of ‘algebra’ is “reunion of broken parts” – quite appropriate when designing a garden that has to be built, dismantled and re-built somewhere else. The white tile pattern painted on the grass is devised using algebra and geometry by overlapping two equal-sized squares to make an eight-point star, then repeating that star shape to make a design. Patterns like this can be found in paradise gardens all over the world, like the Shalimar Gardens in Pakistan, and Persian paradise gardens.
Images: Draft design of the garden
solar powered experiments with sand, salt and sound
Sound artist Dan Fox will be setting up an outdoor lab at this year’s festival equipped with an old scientific signal generator and a Theremin (one of the earliest electronic instruments!). Both instruments are connected to a speaker attached to a metal plate with salt and sand sprinkled on it. As the plate vibrates at different frequencies patterns magically appear on the metal plate! These will be photographed and used as inspiration to create a garden that grows over the weekend.
Former Gasometer site (at the very top of the festival) drop in lab open 10am-5pm daily
L’oasis Paradisiaque (The Heavenly Oasis)
Sonia Mirza will be bringing elements of the famous Yves Saint Laurent Garden in Marrakech to the site with her colourful installation and inviting visitors to add to a mosaic feature across the weekend.
Image: Visitors are invited to add to a Mandala inspired installations as part of Sonia’s piecee for ‘What is Now’
Workshops and activities
Image: Some beautiful crochet flowers made by the Nimble Fingers group
Nimble Fingers and The Boat Group Canal Crafts and Traditional Games
Free drop in-by the bridge 10-5pm daily
Pop in to see Nimble Fingers to have a go at some rag-rugging, canal crafts and play some traditional games!
Etruria Artist’s Hands on Clay
Children’s field-Free drop in session 10am-5pm daily
Have a go at some hands on clay workshops with Etruria Artists.
ART BRASIL’s Recycled Sounds Children’s field-Free drop in session 10am-5pm daily
Drumming free-play with pots, cans, chimes, shakers and more, all rescued from our rubbish bins!Local arts organisation ART BRASIL set up their ‘Recycled Sounds‘ project to encourage us to re-purpose some of our rubbish into musical instruments. Drop in for an exploration of sound using all manner of objects and get inspired. Definitely try this at home!
Urban Wilderness Box Worlds Children’s Field SUNDAY ONLY 10-5pm Free drop in
Is it a boat, is it a plane, is it a cosy place to eat your lunch? Help Urban Wilderness transform a pile of boxes into a fantastical land!
Have a go at the Canowl trail, pick up a trail and spot the 12 owls nesting in different places around the site. Pick up the form from the information gazebo at the foot of the white bridge to win your own mini owl!
Are bringing some of their canoes and running free tasters
10-5pm daily drop in (by the white bridge)
Exhibitors and Demonstrations
Majestic Owls will be bringing 10 of their beautiful birds to show
A small number of vintage engines will be on display
Jesse Shirley’s Bone and Flint Mill
As well as being able to visit the museum and visitor centre, attendees will also have the rare chance to see Shirley’s Bone and Flint Mill in action. The steam powered engine, Princess, will be operating from 12.30 to 4.30pm with the engine started on the hour. The museum is free, entry to the mill is £4 for adults (guided tour £6) and free for under 16s accompanied by a paying adult.
Sculpted Steel (http://sculptedsteel.co.uk) Award winning blacksmith Charis Jones from Sculpted Steel will be doing demonstrations in the on-site forge.
Visitors will have a chance to come aboard historic boats Keppel and Swift
Performances and Music
We’re really happy to be working with Pilgrim’s Pit on running the music this year!
Here’s the line up:
Sat 1st June
12-12.30 – Cassie Melody singer-songwriter
12.45-1.45 – John Dhali. Soul Folk solo artist
2pm-2:45pm – Richard Watson. Solo Delta Swamp Acoustic Blues
3pm-3:45pm – The Wonderful World of Norman Sole – Norm is joined by an eclectic array of musicians playing great tracks.
4pm-5pm – Funkaholics – The Funkaholics 5-piece return with an hour of disco and funk classics.
Sun 2nd June
12-12.45 Moore and Moore — Staffordshire Based Duo of Guitar, Vocals, Sax and Harmonica
1-1.45 Beartown UKEs Ukelele Band
2pm-2:30pm – Ronsbury – Ronsbury will be bringing all sorts of weird and wonderful instruments for a far-out performance.
3pm – 3:45pm – Julia Mosely – Julia is joined by her band for a performance of original, theatrical rock
4pm – 5pm – The Dodgy Jammers – The Dodgy Jammers bring you a performance of classics from the genres of funk, rock and soul!
Sun 2nd June 3pm Domesday Morris performance (by the bridge)
Sat 1st and Sun 2nd June 4pm The Children’s Field, Karl Wilson Performing Peppers
Roving Story-teller Ian Douglas will be entertaining visitors throughout the day and also running sessions on board his narrowboat!
Food and Drink
Lymestone Brewery will be running the bar tent throughout the festival and a range of hot food will be available on site including a wood fired pizza, samosas, Thai, burgers, candy floss and more
There will be an array of stalls selling artisan crafts, gifts, and toys as well as a number of charity and information stands