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Artsfest: Kick start your creativity with workshops at Cambridge arts festival.




A four-day arts festival is kicking off next week with live music, comedy, talks, and workshops run by some of the leading lights in the creative industry.

St Paul’s Church on Hills Road will open its doors for Artsfest on September 15, a bi-annual festival celebrating community and the arts.

Attendees can try a workshop on creative writing from multi-award-winning dramatist, Nick Warburton which takes participants through the creation of character, voice and narration, and structure in writing drama; or kickstart their novel with a session from Jo Browning Wroe, creative writing supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge.

There are also songwriting workshops for electronic music, painting and silk screen printing sessions and quilting.

Harry Baker perfoms poetry. Pic by Garry Cook. (50992741)
Harry Baker perfoms poetry. Pic by Garry Cook. (50992741)

Alongside these daytime workshops, there are a series of talks tackling a wide range of topics, including political activism, contemporary feminism, the information age, religion, and poetry, which includes a reading from the world poetry slam champion, Harry Baker. There will also be live jazz, songs from the musicals, and evening of comedy with Juliet Meyers, Peter Holloway and Rev. Ravi Holy.

Multi-award-winning dramatist, Nick Warburton will take participants through the creation of character, voice and narration, and structure in Writing drama (Thursday, September 16, 10:00 – 12:00). Nick has written scripts for stage, television and radio. Alongside his many national radio dramas, Nick has also written TV scripts for Doctors, Holby City, Born and Bred and EastEnders.

In Kickstart your creative writing (Friday, September 17, 10:00 – 12:00), Jo Browning Wroe, takes participants through a series of exercises to stimulate their imagination and build confidence to write short stories, or even make a start on that novel. Jo Browning Wroe has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness, was shortlisted for the Bridport Peggy Chapman-Andrews award and will be published by Faber in January 2022.

Martin Wroe, appearing at Artsfest (51093442)
Martin Wroe, appearing at Artsfest (51093442)

Possibly suited for younger folk, the workshop, Electronic music (Thursday, September 16, 14:00 – 18:00) features Drum & Bass producers and DJs, Logistics & Nu:tone, who take participants through the process of writing, recording, and mixing a piece of electronic music in this four-hour workshop. Logistics and Nu:Tone are signed to Hospital Records and have been working in the music business since the early 2000s. Between them, they have released 16 albums and countless singles and remixes.

Several workshops focus on visual arts:

Breakdown the elements of art (Thursday, September 16, 10:00 – 12:00), Annabel Lee explores an object by breaking it down into the elements of art: Line. Shape. Tone. Form. Pattern. Colour. Texture. Annabel is a local artist, teacher and illustrator. She trained at Wimbledon School of Art and has worked as a theatre designer for over 20 years.

Look and draw: workshop 1 (Thursday, September 16, 10:00 – 12:00), artist Steve Russell demonstrates how to draw common objects. Look and paint: workshop 2 (Friday, September 17, 10:00 – 12:00), Steve Russell gives his second workshop but this time focussing on painting. Steve is an artist who deals with issues of self, identity and symbols through the medium of paint. He has developed a figurative style that marries diverse elements into instantly recognisable, idiosyncratic idiom that is at times touching, dramatic and visceral. He produces images that manage to be optimistic and intriguing.

Martyn Jospeh, will be at Artsfest. (51093444)
Martyn Jospeh, will be at Artsfest. (51093444)

Self portraits (Friday, September 17, 14:00 – 16:00), Liz Diamond encourages participants to use mixed media to produce their own self portraits. Liz trained in illustration and graphic design and has worked with community groups to explore their experiences and identity using multi media.

For those who like things a little craftier, there is Silk Screen Printing (Friday, September 17, 10:00 – 12:00) with Off The Press Collective, a printmaking collective based in Bury St Edmunds who specialise in the production of quality prints and are passionate about keeping traditional processes alive. This workshop is an introduction into the process or a refresher for those who would like to revisit it. Off the Press Collective introduce the screen-printing process, demonstrate a few printing methods, and then participants can work with stencils and experiment with colours and blends.

Juliet Meyers, who is coming to Artsfest. (51093440)
Juliet Meyers, who is coming to Artsfest. (51093440)

Or how about some quilt making? In Bend It Like Quilters (Thursday, September 16, 10:00 – 12:00), Sue Calverley and Kip Gresham work with 12 people to design and make several dramatic quilts. Participants are introduced to the extraordinary quilts made by groups of African American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Based on the dramatic scale, colour and structure of those famous pieces, thos involved in the workshop become collaborators in the processes of designing, selecting colours, cutting and assembling new large- scale works. Sue Calverley graduated from Winchester School of Art with a degree in Fashion, Woven and Knitted Textiles. Kip Gresham is an artist printmaker who works in close collaboration with a wide range of contemporary artists. Colour and abstract imagery are at the heart of his activity.

Alongside these daytime workshops, there are a series of talks tackling a wide range of topics, including political activism, contemporary feminism, the information age, religion, and poetry, which includes a reading from the world poetry slam champion, Harry Baker. Showcase performances each day include:

September 17, 7.30pm: An evening of comedy with Juliet Meyers, Peter Holloway & Rev. Ravi Holy

September 16, 12.30pm: Victoria Royce's Clarinet Trio. Piano - Victoria Royce; clarinet - Elliot DeVivo; and cello - Emily Smith. Music to include Bruch, the German romantic composer, who wrote over 200 pieces for three instruments.

September 16, 7.30pm: Music from the legend that is Martyn Joseph.

September 17, 7.30pm: Jazz with award-winning British saxophone legend Tony Kofi and jazz multi-instrumentalist Tim Boniface.

September 18, 7.30pm: Scratch medley of well-known songs from musicals. Local music teacher and musical theatre composer, Simon Humphreys leads the choir, and Lecturer in Music and tenor Larry Zazzo performs some beautiful counter tenor solos.

To view the full programme and book tickets, please visit https://www.stpaulsartsfest.org/



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