Friday, July 04, 2014

Frome Festival is Go...

Frome Festival began today, so Tristan Stevens' FITHWALL at Black Swan Arts which opened last night acted as a kind of amuse bouche to the feast to come. Tristan's exhibition invites us to "walk along the banks of the information-stream and among the sacred gifs and jpegs of the projected unconscious"and to emphasise the significance of these generated images, there's a zen garden where screens are bedded like hallowed rocks. Showing here till the end of August.
And now we're off in style, ten days crammed with so many events and displays no-one could get to even half of them. I'm planning to do as much as I can, and use the blog as a daily late-night bulletin to give the flavour of the immense variety and vivacity that is Frome Festival.
First stop the Silk Mill, which has already re-opened its famous 'festival tapas bar', where the Open Studios upstairs are sharing the extraordinary creativity of artists from clothes creators like Raggedy, aka Hayley Tresise, to the musical artistry of Tim Moore. 
There's a fabulous gallery exhibition here too: paintings of power stations by Lin Hawkins. some sinister, some almost like holy temples.
Over in Stony Street, Barry Cooper's exhibition Sonata 2014, is inspired by Bartok's 1944 violin concerto which he feels motivated every brushstroke. The graffitied newspapers are shown alongside his paintings made while listening, with thoughts of the 8.7 million British men about to go into the trenches one hundred years ago, 'a reflection of that past in the fragility of our present.'  There's resonance too with Picasso's angry sense of injustice. "All art is a kind of healing" Barry says.
On then to the talk by Will Buckingham at the Library, organised by John Payne and Wendy Miller-Williams, on the philosophy of the Moomin stories. Will says he's only an amateur Moominologist, but he's analysed the problems that troubled the young Moomintroll, like authority and apocalypse, and explains how Tove Jansson's tales carry within them solutions for us all. Then a quick dash with Rosie Finnegan and Alison Clink over to the Cornerhouse for an hour's dancing to the fabulous Critters, the band who can play anything but are supreme at ska-reggae and get the whole place bopping within minutes...  and a late ending at John Payne's party where Will Buckingham was guest of honour. A suitable conclusion to the festival's opening day: friendly, fun, and a little bit esoteric.

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