Wadhurst Midsummer 2017 – Through a Dark Glass
by Wadhurst Culture
THROUGH A DARK GLASS is an intriguing arts project that casts a mysterious shadow over the idyllic English countryside. In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is all as beautiful as it seems? What sights has our 5000-year-old trackway seen? What stories could the hamlet drowned by the reservoir tell? What will we see when we look THROUGH A DARK GLASS?
THROUGH A DARK GLASS will be a major cultural event in the village of Wadhurst, East Sussex, at Midsummer 2017. It will explore the nature of the countryside and the sometimes dark secrets hidden within it, using film, visual arts and storytelling. The lead artist will be film-maker Andrew Kötting, working with curators Julian Rowe and Terry Perk, and Professor Simon Kövesi of Oxford Brookes University. It will also involve early career artists Naomi Eaton-Baudains, Jon Law, Matt Rowe, Paul Smith, Xanthus Andrews, Ben Hunt, Loren Beven, Katryn Saqui and Maureen Jordan. And most importantly, it will involve the people of Wadhurst, young and old, in creating an unforgettable experience.
The artists have been chosen for their existing interest in rurality, myth, magic and the public realm, giving them the opportunity to explore rural contexts as sites of history and imagination. In different ways their practices all explore the relationship between a pastoral ideal of landscape and a more unsettling notion of the countryside as a site of the hidden, the uncanny, the archaeological and the mythic.
This is an outstanding opportunity for predominantly local artists in an area where few exist. It is also an opportunity for emerging artists to experience being specifically commissioned to carry out work in a community setting, and to gain experience of fulfilling such a brief.
For Andrew Kötting the project extends his ongoing concerns with issues of the landscape, folklore and their mythological grounding. It offers an opportunity to work in a specific regional landscape in a new collaboration with Simon Kövesi
THROUGH A DARK GLASS is the second major project for Wadhurst Culture, following 2015’s IN THE FIELD. Wadhurst Culture, one of the smallest arts charities in the country, believes that big art can happen in small places, and that the experience of creating work with professional artists should not be just an urban experience.
In order to create this project, we need help, though, both in terms of funding, and from people who want to join in in making the work. Even the smallest contribution will be important in allowing us to see THROUGH A DARK GLASS.
What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Although Wadhurst is located in the affluent South East of England, for many people in the village there is little or no opportunity to see professional arts events, and even less to participate in making work with professional artistsw. Wadhurst Culture aims to change this. Wadhurst is a commuter village, meaning that house prices are high, and there is a danger that the village will become fragmented as the gap widens between those who use the village as a base to commute, and those who struggle to live here. Projects like this appeal across the whole community, and build cohesion.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
20% of people in the village live below the official poverty line. On the day we set up this appeal, however, only one of the sixty-three houses offered for sale in Wadhurst met the Government’s official definition of an “affordable” home – £250,000.
What is your solution?
Wadhurst Culture’s projects are inclusive, and build bridges throughout the community
2 minutesForward this Buzzbnk appeal to all your contacts on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin
5 minutesEmail us on [email protected] to be put on our mailing list. Like us on Facebook and Twitter
15 minutesTell your friends about us, and remind them to put Midsummer 2017 in their diaries.
A few hoursFind out if your group can be actively involved in the project – the artists will be working with local schools, clubs and societies to make the work, so please contact Wadhurst Culture if you think your group would like to be involved.
Regular time commitmentWe will need lots of people to make the project happen. Whether it’s helping us to create the experience, or being there to make sure everyone’s having a good time, we will need you. Wadhurst Culture already has a great group of volunteers – if you want to join us, do get in touch.