Wirksworth Festival 2008: Art and Architecture Trail (Part 1)

Saturday morning saw us heading off into Derbyshire to take part in the Art and Architecture Trail at Wirksworth Festival. To say it was raining seems inadequate really. We had second thoughts, then third as we drove through torrential rain, but eventually resigned ourselves to getting soaked between venues. However, the Festival Organisers had obviously booked some bright spells – and as we arrived in Wirksworth it started to brighten up. Result. So, off to collect my Mum (who amazed us by walking about all day – go Mum!) and out on the trail we went.

The trail consists of a series of venues in which over 100 artists and craftsmen and women exhibit. The venues are varied: the local church provided a stunning mediaeval backdrop for some very modern art, whilst the parish rooms had been converted into a professional looking modern white gallery space. The bars in the town’s pubs became the backdrops for displays of paintings and photographs.

There were also many small venues: the living rooms and bedrooms in people’s homes became temporary exhibition spaces, as did some small barns and outbuildings. Gardens played host to pieces of sculpture and many of the town’s shop windows contained pieces of artwork. There was even a tiny caravan acting as a gallery. The whole town felt festive, in addition to all the artwork there were street entertainers and performers in many venues.

Joining the trail was easy and very good value, £4 paid for a badge which allowed us to gain entry to all venues for the whole weekend.

There was so much to see, we barely scratched the surface in the one day that we were there. Next year I think we’ll stay for both days on the weekend of the trail – which is highly recommended.

Here’s a few highlights (more tomorrow):

Duncan Thurlby’s magnificent hounds keep a stag at bay in the churchyard:

The Hunt At Bay

Apart from the goofy one with its paws on the fence:

Friendly Hound

Johanna Domke Guyot‘s macabre teddies line up in the window of Wirksworth Brewery:


Whilst a missing child peers out of the window at Peak House:

Empty Child

We climbed up the Dale and enjoyed spectacular views over Wirksworth:


A selection of quirky cakes made us smile:

Cakes III

I admired the shapes of Michael Shaw’s inflatable sculptures. So did Mr TLC, although he also took a different view – “Your Mum’s kitten would love this!”

See the toy in everything

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