This week we are meeting up with Horsham District Council’s Year of Culture Co-ordinator Nick Jenkins who is keen to share some of the more art and written word focussed activities that are in the pipeline as part of the year of celebrations.
In the early days when we started planning the Year of Culture programme, one of our main rally calls to people was to “ get involved, be inspired and feel included ”, as the year presented so many opportunities for everyone to go and try out different things.
Early on in the year, we asked locals to get involved and vote for their top Horsham District landscape scenes. The favourite four scenes selected would then be painted by famous local artist Sarah Duffield in a special commission.
We are now delighted to reveal a sneak peek of the first two paintings to be finished. The first one is called Beeding Hill and the second, Amberley was painted looking down the River Arun.
Each painting reveals a unique interpretation of our District’s landscape. It was great that during the commission, everyone had the chance to engage in a number of free workshops with Sarah to see how she works and the techniques she uses.
We think the final paintings look stunning and recognise our beautiful landscapes in Sarah’s distinct style, creating a legacy for the Year of Culture.
When all four paintings are completed they will be exhibited for all to enjoy and then will be available to buy as limited editions, so watch out for details on our website.
Are you more into words than pictures?
Next up is a community project – Field Notes from Warnham – where visitors to the Warnham Local Nature Reserve can actively contribute their ideas to our writer in residence Tanya Shadrick, who is bringing the written word to the Reserve.
Tanya has been busy meeting visitors at the Reserve to capture their thoughts, words, and stories about the flora, fauna and general ambiance of this special place. All are welcome to come along and share their feelings. There will be an exhibition of her findings and completed works in the autumn.
If sculpture is more your thing, public artist Will Nash is creating the beginnings of some miniature sculptures which you are welcome to have some input on, including where the final artworks could be positioned in the Reserve. You can follow the project on Twitter @FieldNotesWNLR .
And for those of you who really like to get your hands dirty, Billingshurst sculptor Jon Edgar cordially invites you to join him at the new Highwood Village near Broadbridge Heath, where he seeks your help to create a massive new sculpture to help develop the identity of the new community there. Jon is actively looking for residents and passers-by to help him progress the five tonne stone sculpture which will emerge through the Year of Culture and remain for posterity.
No experience is needed and full training in basic carving skills will be given. The final piece becomes as much yours as his own. Follow Jon’s blog at horshamsculpture.wordpress.com to find out the dates to come along and take part. It’s not often you get the chance to have a go at a real piece of public art.
A quick shout out for the good folks of Partridge Green.
Their (in their own words) very small village hall hosted one of our 52-weekend events a couple of weeks ago – an evening of romance, football-themed drama and sixties music with the play, It is Now. The play was a sell-out and feedback from Liz Ganney, Chair of Partridge Green Players was extremely positive:
“I would like to say thank you to Horsham District Year of Culture on behalf of all our members and villagers, who had a really lovely time. Our audience loved the performance, particularly as the actors performed right in the middle of the seating area. Lots of people would like us to book them again next year.
“So thank you for supporting this opportunity for us to have something special in our very small village hall.”
Fantastic that we enabled this village to enjoy such a great event.
And finally for this week, one of our culture ambassadors Heather went along to a WeFiFo hosted Book and Cook event last week out in Slinfold and this is what she had to say:
“What a treat of an evening – you don’t have to be really “bookish” to enjoy an experience like this. A chance to meet and chat with the very entertaining and down to earth top author, Wray Delaney followed by a gorgeous home cooked supper in a relaxed farmhouse atmosphere. A great idea to combine culture, food, and books.” The supper club is open the last Thursday in every month. Check it out here www.wefifo.com.
As we hurtle into spring, our 2019 Horsham District Year of Culture has now entered its fourth month – it’s all going very fast, so if you do nothing else this year, get involved with the Year of Culture!
I would also encourage you to follow the Year of Culture on Twitter @HDculture2019, Instagram @HDculture2019 and on Facebook, facebook.com/HDculture2019, where you can find up to minute events listings and booking details, regular updates and live commentaries on everything that’s going on and the reactions to it.