Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Autumn abundance

An artistic cornucopia in Frome this week, overflowing on Halloween night with witching costumes & happenings in cafes & shops around the town, an amazingly theatrical Haunted House-party (thanks Russ Ellingham, who'll also bring dark glamour to Cheese&Grain on Friday 13th) and a fiendishly good session at the Griffin by Captain Cactus and the spell-binding Screaming Harlots.

Two more of my favourite bands were also playing last week: We Used To Make Things, a brilliant indie-pop band from London, usually 8-strong though totally rocking the Cricket Club with just five. I particularly enjoyed their protest song 'What are we fighting for?' echoing around the flags... And local heroes Dexter's Extra Breakfast took to the busking stage at the Frome Independent penultimate Sunday market of the year. As always, this was a massively busy event offering every kind & colour of craft, costume and comestible. Writers were represented by the enterprising Frome Writers Collective with a stall on the hill and by Julian Hight's book-signing of his World Tree Story at Hunting Raven.

'Words at the Black Swan' always meets in the gallery on the afternoon of the market to explore the current exhibition as poetic inspiration, and the diversity of the Arts Open offered engaging stimulus.
It's well worth a visit but don't expect razor-blade art like the work of Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy I saw last week ~ a treat from my amazing friend Hazel Carey ~ which sears unforgettably. Here's 'Straight' - comprising 150 tons of steel rebar taken from the site of the earthquake that killed 5,000 children, truth about which the artist believes has been covered up by the Chinese government. Ai Weiwei was arrested & imprisoned for 80 days: he's also made an extensive installation to record the experience, with models of his captors.

So, a week of creativity in town, but as the artistic glitterball of Frome is surrounded by glorious countryside ~ not waxing too lyrical, am I? ~ these mild sunny days brought opportunities to relish the awesome colours of autumn too, in forests parks and gardens. This is the iconic Stourhead view..
I'll end with a quick look ahead: Frome Shop Local next Saturday: nine free performances throughout the town in shops and caf├ęs - cancel everything and come along!

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