Wandsworth Arts Festival aims to reach new heights
This year’s Wandsworth Arts Festival is encouraging anyone living and working in the borough to play their own unique part in the artistic celebration.
Members of the public are being called on to take part in a range of events next month, which promise to showcase anything from low key and amateur art to high concept projects and future stars of the arts world.
The 2012 festival, run by Wandsworth Council, will actively engage members of the public by inviting them to share their own artistic talents and get involved in group projects organised by established artists.
It kicks off on Friday, May 11, and ends on May 27 with an outdoor event called The Shimmy, which features more than 15 acts, exhibitions, workshops and craft and food stalls between Putney Bridge and Wandsworth Park.
Residents and visitors will have the chance to see a wealth of art-inspired events over the 17 days but those wanting to go a step further by actively taking part in some of the offerings can get involved with the following activities:
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Local writers are being called on to produce original stories for a special storytelling cabaret event. Are You Sitting Comfortably? will showcase short stories of about 1,000 words that explore the theme of Secrets. Each featured writer will get a free homemade book of their story and a chance to be published by Ether Books. Stories should be sent to event organiser White Rabbit by emailing email@example.com before May 13, with “secrets” in the subject line. To learn more visit www.thewhiterabbit.org.uk.
Chalk the Sun
Alternatively, Chalk the Sun is organising a short story competition based around the theme Games. The theme can be interpreted as imaginatively as entrants want but the word limit is only 200 including the title and hyphenated words count as one.
Hopefuls must be over 18 years old and should also tell judges their full name, address, best contact number and three interesting facts about themselves. The twenty best entries will be selected and those chosen will read their story in front of a judge and audience at the final slam on May 25.
Send your entries in before May 12 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsewhere, artist Mem Morrison is working on a unique sound installation designed specifically for the avenue of trees situated beside the River Thames in Wandsworth Park. The primary aim of the project – dubbed Underscore – is to connect the River Thames to the avenue in an inspirational and playful way, questioning how people listen to and interpret sound by using soundbites of underwater recordings.
Mr Morrison would like to collaborate with at least 40 performers made up of local residents living and working in the borough. Through a series of workshops, participants will create their own individual interpretation of a sound bite using their own voice.
The project will culminate in a grand performance during The Shimmy when 20 pairs of performers shout, sing, groan, whisper, roar and breathe their interpretations while visitors enter the installation from either end of the avenue. To find out more email email@example.com.
Cleveland Watkiss Workshop
The more musically-minded art fans will have the chance to take part in vocal workshops with Cleveland Watkiss – named the best male jazz singer in Britain by the Evening Standard.
The workshops take place at 7pm on April 24, May 1, May 8 and May 15 at The World Heart Beat Music Academy in Kimber Road. They will lead to a performance by Mr Watkiss at Testbed1 in Battersea that participants will get to join in with.
Workshops cost £10 and places can be booked by contacting the World Heart Beat Music Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.worldheartbeat.org. Alternatively call Sahana Gero on 07973 631203.
Get Tooting Market Dancing
On Sunday, May 20, Step into Dance and The Brick Box will be running a series of dance workshops and performances inside Tooting Market – covering everything from Hip Hop to Bollywood.
Step into Dance – a partnership project between the Royal Academy of Dance and the Jack Petchey Foundation – has arranged for the free classes to run from 3pm to 5pm. Call 020 7326 8903 for more information.
Young Meets Old
Artists Ken McCalla and Kemi Murphy will be putting on a Young Meets Old exhibition and accompanying family art workshops which aim to explore the constructs of collaboration.
Those wanting to get involved in the workshops should visit Sprout Arts, on the corner of Moyser Road and Ribblesdale Road in Furzedown, on either Saturday 12, 19 or 26 from 10am to 12.30pm. The exhibition runs every Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am to 6pm, during the festival. Visit www.sproutarts.com.