Wirksworth Festival showcases art exhibitions and live performances

Creative talent will be showcased as Wirksworth Festival returns to light up the town with a packed programme of arts.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 5:15 pm
Ranigri will play at Wirksworth Festival. Photo by Phil Richards
Ranigri will play at Wirksworth Festival. Photo by Phil Richards

Exhibitions, music, talks and a commissioned film are among the attractions at the festival which launches on September 10.

Homegrown artists Johnny White and Amanda Wray will display their kinetic sculptures in an exhibition entitled Human Machines at The Maltings from September 11 to 19.

A work in progress exhibition from the festival’s artist in residence, Liane Lang, will open at the memorial hall on September 11.

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Monica Alcazar Duarte's perspective of a moorland landscape. Photo by Monica Alcazar Duarte.

London-based artist Liane’s time living and working in Wirksworth has been documented in a film commissioned by the festival which will be shown online on Friday, September 10. Liane worked in collaboration with Derbyshire film-maker Tm Dwyer to make the documentary.

Over the weekend of September 11 and 12 there will also be exhibitions by folk artist Sue Prince who painted a picture a day through lockdowns and turned them into two books, Mónica Alcázar-Duartean who gives an indigenous Mexican view of the moor and Jessica Boateng, first recipient of the Bursary+X award, who has produced colourful cushions.

Alternative folk band Ranagri, composed of English and Irish musicians playing traditional instruments, will headline the performance and talk programme on September 14.

Audiences will also be able to enjoy the Wirksworth Novelists, An Audience with Pat Shenstone, The Chorus Crew with Andy Martin and “Judas!” When Dylan went Electric with John Lindley.

Liane Lange - The Monumental Landscape.

The Art & Architecture Trail, which typically attracts 150 artists to show their work in venues throughout Wirksworth, will not go ahead this year due to uncertainty over Covid. However, festival organisers are running an Online Art Prize to bring artists and audiences together from the comfort of home to exhibit, browse,vote for and buy art.

Carol Taylor, who chairs Wirksworth Festival, said: “Earlier in the year we had all hoped the pandemic would have slowed down enough for us to run the 2021 festival in its usual way, however we heard from our local community that running the Art & Architecture Trail which involves over 70 private venues opening their doors to thousands of visitors, wasn’t a favourable option.

"However, despite initial disappointment for the second year in a row, we are now really excited to launch a number of exhibitions and performance events over the festival weekend and into the following week.”

Exhibitions runs on September 10 and 11 with the exception of Human Machines which opens on September 3 and runs until September 10.

Entry to the exhibitions is free however, donations will be welcome to help bring Wirksworth Festival back bigger and bolder in 2022.

Performances and talks are programmed from September 10 to 14. These events will be ticketed.

The winners of the Online Art Prize will be announced on September 6.

For more information about Wirksworth Festival, which runs until September 19, visit www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk

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