Help me bring a little sparkle into Blandford Forum - Kate Seeger (festival Director)
So What are we planning, and what do we want to achieve by doing it?
Free Expression is a festival celebrating the arts. Giving employment & commissions to established artists, inspiration & opportunity to emerging artists and the opportunity for the public to watch , experience and take part. An all inclusive event covering a wide range of styles enabling us to introduce people to areas of the arts they may not have seen before. There are too many events to describe in detail here (but don't forget to visit our website www.free-expression.com) but to set the character we have through either exhibition, workshops or performance :Painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, music, classical, contemporary and choral works, theatre, dance, trapeze, literature, poetry. An exciting drumming workshop by the company `Magic Drum` culminating with`Call & Responce` , the public performance in the afternoon. Commision of two permanent mosaic sculptures. The theme Brother and Sister. Two pieces of art linked in theme and linking 2 parts of the town. Model making by artist Peter Rush, stone sculpting by Johnathan Searls and a fantastic chance for the children of Blandford to write their own story and see it published. Specially commisioned the debut performance of `Send me a postcard` by aireal performers ` Airtime`. Started by local girl Emily Redsell, who currently performs in Bristol, this would be her first time performing in her home town of Blanford. Our aim is to use this event to not only kickstart but set an aspirational bar which stimulates year round activity.
Why is this activity important for Blandfords artistic development?
Blandford is a rural town with limited transport links making it difficult for certain areas of the community to experience cultral events outside of the town. There has been a call for many years for some kind of arts centre. The town councils 'Re-generation Project' are trying to raise funds to develop the Corn Exchange but if Blandford can have a local cultral event, it will help establish Blandford as a cultral hub. We hope to reach a wider spread of the community , introducing them to new experiences on their doorstep - changing the way they relate with their Town and their perceptions of what is possible. Its important for the regeneration of Blandford and to give something to inspire the community. Also by having an opportunity to commission quality, diverse new work, it will elevate the profile of the festival and perceptions of the cultural landscape in Blandford.