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Appledore Visual Arts Festival

  • Date: 20 May 2010
  • Area: South West
Alison Murray’s ‘Above and Below the Waves’

Alison Murray’s ‘Above and Below the Waves’ . Credit: Photo: Jim Wileman

A new dance piece and a knitted sea scene are amongst the projects taking place in the run up to the Appledore Visual Arts Festival, which takes place 3-6 June.

To celebrate World Dance Day on Thursday 29 April, Dance in Devon and Appledore Arts created a new dance performance in the spectacular setting of Clovelly Court gardens in North Devon. For the promenade performance, there were over 70 dancers on site, viola players on the move, saw players in vegetable plots and over-sized paper gulls.

Facing North was inspired by sepia postcard images of famous shipwrecks along the coast between Clovelly and Hartland. The idea came from artistic director, Sarah Shorten who worked with community groups, dancers, musicians and designers from across North Devon.

The project involved four North Devon-based dancers - Jennie Dodds, Rebecca Jeffery, Katy Lee and Cathy Richards - who worked with children from Clovelly, Goodleigh and Hartland Primary Schools, young people from the Clovelly Youth Club, Devon Youth Dance Company, South Molton Community College, and mature dancers from a group at The Plough, Torrington.

The project was jointly funded by the North Devon Coast AONB and Devon County Council and was awarded the Inspire Mark by LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games).

Another project in the lead up to the festival has involved over 2000 people who have contributed to a huge knitted installation with waves, a lighthouse, a lobster and a host of other sea creatures.

The knitted installation measures 9m by 6m and is entitled Above and Below the Waves, reflecting the coastlines theme of this year's festival. Textile artist Alison Murray is the mastermind behind the Above and Below the Waves project. She has worked with a huge number of people in North Devon, including Appledore RNLI, pupils from local primary schools and a team of dedicated knitters.

As well as working with local people, contributions have come in from around the world. The postman arrived one day with a knitted puffin from Hong Kong, and a family in France have all sent in their contributions for one of the rock pools.

Above and Below the Waves will be on display at St Mary's Church Hall during the Appledore Visual Arts Festival. Other events include a masterclass by the internationally celebrated sculptor Heather Jansch, and a talk by Martin Rowson the acclaimed cartoonist for The Guardian.

Appledore Arts, Alison Murray and Dance in Devon have all received Grants for the arts awards.