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Our Programmes / Festival Makers

Festival Makers
Polska PaniA unique audience and professional development scheme for talented emerging and mid-career designer-makers to work with young people and families in North Hampshire to create public artworks for Basingstoke's World Party in the Park.

The Festival Makers Awards scheme provided in 2011 and 2012 six selected makers/artists each with a £4,500 bursary, an artist's residency in a North Hampshire school, considerable in-kind support, and the opportunity to create an artwork inspired by one or more world cultures.

The scheme aimed to encourage makers to explore new approaches to their practice and to create innovative, large-scale public artworks. The final artworks could include installation, performance, sound and other experimental work as well as traditional craft media, and could be temporary or ephemeral in nature.

See Festival Makers - Artists's Brief (pdf)

The Making was partnered in this project by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The programme was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

A national symposium Making it Big was organised at Central St Martins Cochrane Theatre on 16 November 2010 to maximise the impact of the project. The purpose of the symposium was to provide practical advice and inspire makers and artists to explore new approaches to their practice and engage the community in creating innovative large scale public artworks.
Download symposium review (pdf)
Speakers' biographies (pdf)

The Award Winners

Jo Coles
Jo ColesSculptor, Jo Coles, has spent much of her career as a 'community artist' making pieces for large-scale outdoor events. For some years she has been collecting objects, both natural and man-made, found on woodland and urban walks. These objects which can be strange, beautiful or even quite ordinary, are a constant inspiration to her. Using this inspiration, as well as the found objects themselves, she constructs figures and miniature installations.

Having returned from six months in Poland, Jo used her experiences there and her love of Polish folk art as a starting point for her festival design. She made a spectacular, large-scale Polish lady (a 'PolskaPani') full of secret diaramas. She also worked with children at Kings Furlong school, Basingstoke to further develop the design and to create for the Polska Pani a clutch of animated chickens. Having delighted everyone at the World Party in the park, the Polska Pani is now proudly displayed at Kings Furlong school. Also see the photo-documentation of the creation of the Lady (6.64 MB pdf) and Jo's report.

Download the article (pdf) in the Basingstoke Gazette about Jo's work. Copyright the Gazette Newspapers. Reproduced with permission.

Ian Kirkpatrick
Ian KirkpatrickInspired by the stories carried by Classical Greek vases and Wedgewood plates, Southampton-based Canadian artist Ian Kirkpatrick uses modern-day 'ceramics', such as cardboard boxes and paper plates, as canvases for his striking artwork that tells new histories. www.iankirkpatrick.ca

For Festival Makers, Ian worked with Andover College students to shed light on how globalisation (trade, migration and expansion) has shaped their cultural experiences as they tell their own stories visually on modern containers. Ian also used this information to create a major piece of his own - a giant wine-box. For more details see our interview with Ian for Maker of the Month, the press release (pdf) on his work and and Ian's report and images of the work.

Stuart McCaffer
Stuart MccafferStuart is a sculptor trained in Edinburgh and the Royal College of Art and whose work deals with the illusion of reality. Stuart creates three-dimensional photorealist spaces where he disorientates the viewer with the help of sound, smell, light and film, into feeling that they are somewhere other than the artificial set that they temporarily inhabit.

Stuart worked with pupils at Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School to provide Eastrop Park, the World Party in the Park venue, with an unusual garden shed. “Shed of light” was in fact a camera obscura revealing to its many visitors an image of the world through the use of fake topiary in the park outside. The fake trees were dotted around in a seemingly random manner: each was half a tree with the flat side facing the hole in the shed and creating the silhouette of a continent.  Viewed inside the shed, the different silhouettes together created a picture of the globe.

See Stuart’s report.

Rosanna Martin
Rosanna MartinThe actions and processes involved in the making of ceramics inspire Rosanna Martin's practice. In her Cornish studio, Rosanna makes series of hand-thrown porcelain cylindrical vessels on the wheel, exploring how, through different mark making, parts of the process can become an integral element of the decorative quality of a piece.

Rosanna worked with an entire junior school in Basingstoke to create a celebratory and colourful display of medals made from ceramic and textiles. The medals were enriched with stories and portraits of the children, celebrating their individuality. The children then made ribbons for the medals and wore them in a spectacular Children's Parade that launched the World Party in the park. To learn more about Rosanna and her work see our interview with Rosanna for Maker of the Month, and Rosanna's report on the project and images of the children at work.

Sarah Parsons
Sarah is a Brighton-based artist producing festival installations, props and moving sculptures. Sarah applied for an award to improve her engineering skills and develop a new way of working. She chose to create for Eastrop Park a giant fish-eating bird automaton on an Olympic-style podium. She consulted the pupils of Manor Field Junior School about the project, and her studio partner, Jo Coles, worked with the students to make and emboss the Bird’s wing feathers, and to create fish to carry in the Parade and present to the Bird. Storyteller Chris Bennett was commissioned to write a story about the Bird which he told at regular intervals during the World Party. At the event, Jo ran workshops for children to make Bird wing badges which gave their makers the right to turn the handle and make the Bird ‘fly’.

See Sarah’s report and download the article (pdf) in the Basingstoke Gazette about Sarah’s work and the World Party event. Copyright the Gazette Newspapers. Reproduced with permission.

Nick Sayers
Nick SayersBrighton-based graphic designer and maker, Nick Sayers, creates spherical sculptures, shelters and lighting from recycled materials. His work explores the beauty of mathematical geometry and the creative reuse of waste. www.nicksayers.com

Nick worked with Farnborough school-children to build a spherical "World of Cultures" sculpture. This was made from an interconnected lattice of the children's silhouettes, and serves both as a sculpture and rollable play structure. It was displayed at the World Party in the park and is now housed at Cherrywood Primary school with the children that inspired it. See the press release and Nick's report.

Festival Makers - Achievements

- Six talented makers/visual artists selected by national competition and given the opportunity and guidance to produce critically engaged, quality work on a large scale.
- Six imaginative artworks with ‘Olympic’ themes produced on time and to budget.
- The artists felt that the project had widened their experience and enhanced their reputation.
- Young people successfully engaged in the different projects.
- Highly praised national seminar on public art.
- An exhibition on the project at the Willis Museum.
- Facilitating the production in 2011 and 2012 of two highly successful world arts events which celebrated the Olympics, engaged the diverse communities and made a significant contribution to the new Basingstoke Festival.
- Exposure to high quality visual and performing arts by economically and culturally deprived audiences.

Evaluation of the programme (pdf)