Kidderminster Arts Festival got off to a flying start last weekend (Saturday 8 August), as the luminous birds installation by Kathy Hindes gave Vicar Street a new dimension. The birds look beautiful during the day but become magical as they light up at 9.30pm each night.
Dignitaries, local artists and organisations got to get a sneak preview of ‘Go to Jail’ when they attended the launch of KAF at Kidderminster Town Hall on Friday 7 August. ‘Go to Jail’ is a reconstructed prison cell in the Corn Exchange. Actors, who are also ex-offenders, are occupying the cell. Visitors can talk them about ‘life inside’ between 11am and 3pm until Tuesday 18 August (closed Sunday 16 August). Entry is free.
This year the Sir Rowland Hill statue features in KAF. A cape made by users of Headway, an organisation that supports people with acquired brain injuries, has been added to the statue. It was the idea of Eira Walters who co-ordinated the poppies for the bollards during KAF 2014. Eira ran workshops with Headway users over many weeks before the festival started to get the cloak made in time. The pavement below the statue is strewn with stencils of the Penny Black created by local artist Melo. The installation celebrates the 175th anniversary of the introduction of the stamp.
Kidderminster Arts Festival is organised by Wyre Forest District Council. The Sir Rowland Hill project was funded through the KAF Small Scale Commissions Scheme. Councillor Sally Chambers, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Well-being and Housing said:
‘The project has got people looking up at the statue and revived discussion about Sir Rowland Hill. It is easy to become accustomed to statues like this as they become so familiar to passers-by. There have been many positive comments with people admiring the work that has gone into it from the people from Headway. It’s a real achievement for them and it’s great to have them involved with KAF and have their work in such a prominent place.’
Vandalism to ‘The Great Paste Up’ on the Comberton Hill subway has sparked a huge amount of comment on social media The project was to cover the walls of the subway with wallpaper featuring pictures of local architecture taken by local people.
Loz Samuels, Wyre Forest District Council’s Arts and Play Development Officer said:
“I worked with volunteers for two days to put the paper on the walls in the subway and people walking through were giving great feedback, asking about the location of some of the buildings featured. It’s a shame that a few can spoil such a lot of hard work in so little time. We will have to rethink future projects for the subway in the light of this vandalism.”
There is still a lot to see over the coming weekend and final week of the festival. There is a great day of free street theatre on Saturday the 15 August and KidFest is on at St. Georges Park from 12.00 – 4pm with lots of free fun for all the family. There will also be some great acoustic bands between 4pm and 7pm at Habberley Valley. They are all free to listen to and enjoy in a beautiful setting.
Check out the KAF website for more details.