On the Way Bracebridge Heath Procession
“The evening was a great success.”
“Someone had great vision!”
“The ‘best bits’ were seeing people enjoying themselves.”
“I would encourage others to get involved”
“I think the evening will be a hard act to follow.”
“It’s one of those things I think people will talk about for a long time to come.”
“I loved getting involved and having a go at new things I would never usually do.”
“I didn’t believe there were that many people in Bracebridge Heath!”
“…everybody who took part in this event said they really enjoyed working with artsNK, it was really fun.”
The celebrations of the Olympic inspired event in Bracebridge Heath on June 27 caused a mighty buzz in the atmosphere, beginning when the Torch passed through the community, and continuing right up to when the event itself finished.
The community groups in Bracebridge Heath had been sharing ideas and getting involved from the very beginning, and without their passionate contributions this event would not have been the triumphant success it was.
There were two parts to this striking event: the Woodland Walk, which invited the audience to explore a journey through various arts installations, and the Community Celebration fashioned by artsNK, Bracebridge Heath organisations, residents and commissioned artists.
Along the Woodland Walk, every piece of artwork was a unique, individual creation. The distinctive hanging gardens of Bracebridge Heath and the planted tights suspended in the trees invited onlookers to explore further. The dastardly duo provided by Liminal Theatre filled, with dramatic chaos, their crazy cart journey along the route, whilst Nikki Mclusky’s contemporary dancers told their tales of their time in St John’s Asylum! Making their mark were the friendly faces of St John’s School printed upon bunting together with personal photos creating a photo wall. An array of enchanting creatures carved with intricate detailing by the Friendship Club accompanied the ‘traveller’. A song relay presented a haunting melody through the voices of keen, local individuals of all ages. The WI created a tree gallery representing their work and activities. Young children sat in a cosy spot, captivated by stories read aloud. The gentlemen of Bracebridge Heath, through their donated ties, offered a village voice which conveyed passing fads and gimmicks through the decades, as well as interests and hobbies: history in fashion. A trip down memory lane was taken with local historian Alistair Taylor relating reminiscences to match his photographs, dating all the way all the way back to 1887!
On the route through the burial ground, a delicate display of lights and mirrors, and a labyrinth entwined with showcases of ceramic sculptures inspired by the architectural forms of St John’s Hospital, invited the participants to make their way towards the recreation ground. Along this way, the Horrible Histories artistically dramatic staged timeline that wove its way throughout mown shapes amongst lavishly long grass gave a cheeky nod to the Olympics!
Specifically designed, `The Hive`, a remarkable collection of sounds, surfaces and sensory sculptures, was a celebration of what makes this area special. Beautifully woven thread sculptures created a spectacle of many colours. Throughout the woods, markers, decorated with copper votive sculptures and glass vials, voiced the dreams and aspirations of the local community whilst acknowledging the historical value of the ‘crossroads’ which is Bracebridge Heath. An assortment of fabulous pom poms and knit graffiti also represented the travellers at the ancient crossroads. An inspired piece, the ‘Nocton Crown’ represented villages in North
Kesteven which created artworks for their village greens. Mystical light sculptures created an intriguing effect, achieved by combing light with highly engineered materials such as mirrored glass, acrylic and polished metals with pure elegance.
After this stimulating walk, there awaited the next part for all enjoy. The Recreation Ground hosted a dynamic performing area, where many gathered to hear Beatbox Ben reverberating his skilled sounds in contrast to the Latin rhythms of the Brass Hoppers and the Olympian dancers from surrounding schools showing off their talents when 100+ school children danced in unison.
Gambian Drumming master, Njega, energised the onlookers with his heavy drum rhythms, whilst RAF Waddington’s Pipes and Drums served up ‘piping hot’ tunes!
Testing yourself to the extreme was definitely on the cards with three exciting areas: the POD, the half pipe and the climbing wall. Evening entertainment for all ages, a wonderful collection of stalls, demonstrations, bouncy castles and face painting left the audience with a taste of delicious, inspiring and fun mementos.
All of this combined to make a memorable evening, which Bracebridge Heath residents will remember and of which they can be truly proud. artsNK has received such positive feedback from those who enjoyed the event, and the community spirit in Bracebridge Heath has been shown to speak volumes.
Following the success of the event, future plans are being made to rekindle Bracebridge Heath’s annual gala. Some of the installations may make appearances at future events, whilst other will be sold to raise funds towards another amazing occasion.
For links to participants interviews by Alice Coulson artsNK Event Intern click here
To become involved with future events – keep an eye out for upcoming news at the artsNK website.