Tamworth Arts & Events' very first Big Draw Festival is all about drawing and art in unusual spaces, with unusual materials! From electrical tape, and UV paint in bus stops and shopping centres... this is not a #LivingLines17 event to miss!
As they join The Big Draw Festival for their first year, we are thrilled to take a few moments with the the team at Tamworth Arts & Events ahead of their inaugural Big Draw Festival event this Saturday!
Enjoy our interview with the team!
BD: There’s all manner of events that Tamworth are putting on across the town – a truly inspiring display of things to do, see and most importantly to draw! What are some of the challenges you’ve found in putting on such a comprehensive and wide ranging series of events?
TAE: With any event there are challenges but we really wanted to deliver a programme where there was something for everyone. The Big Draw campaign to us was about community and empowering our community to drive the project so we felt it was important to source high quality artists that were local to our area. This took a little time to find them but we are confident that we have the right artists for our audience.
We are exceptionally lucky that we have a great working relationship with Ankerside Shopping Centre in Tamworth that supports many of our community projects. They are accommodating 6 of our activities for our Big Draw event, “Art Attack.” Without their support we would have struggled to accommodate so many activities.
BD: It’s encouraging to see some non-standard techniques being used in some the activities – electrical tape across Ankerside Shopping Centre promises to be a colourful and unique display! What made you decide on the use of such an unusual material for mark-making?
TAE: The use of tape allows the artwork to become a tactile colourful installation that the participant or audience can create, walk over, through and be completely submerged into its form. The use of tape makes it a sculptural response that gets bigger the more people take part. A sense that the community are building the artwork and engineering the way those lines connect, overlap and communicate with the other. The simplicity of it allows you to “do” rather than overthink.
BD: You’re putting on your set of Big Draw Festival events as part of your own “Arts in Unusual Spaces” project. Can you explain to our readers a little more about this initiative and how it came about? Was it developed in response to a particular need for public arts in the town?
TAE: Tamworth Arts In Unusual Spaces is our second arts festival funded by Arts Council England. The festivals were developed to increase participation and develop audiences in Tamworth to engage in the arts. Tamworth is recognised nationally as an area that is low in arts participation and with the refurbishment of our home, Tamworth Assembly Rooms, it is important that we deliver a programme that inspires audiences to stay in touch with us and develop new audiences in the area.
BD: I have to ask - what do you think the most unusual space is that’s getting involved this year?
TAE: The most unusual space for Art In Unusual Spaces are the bus stops that we are using for the “Catch Art” project. This involves the community designing their very own bus stop with graffiti artist Simon Wingfield. So far we have a 70s style living room and a kingfisher bus stop. Partnering with local schools we will be having a beach hut, farm yard, nature woodland and Tam Modern bus stop to add to the collection.
For Art Attack we have many spaces such as the Castle Grounds, underneath the Town Hall and Ankerside Shopping Centre. However I think the most unusual art form in its location would be the UV paint room in the shopping centre. So whilst you pick up your weekly shop you can go into a dark room and light it up with UV paint.
The most unusual/ unpredictable art form for Art Attack would be body draw. Our artist Andy Nash has created head wear, footwear and gloves that you use as drawing instruments that allow your body, opposed to your hands, to create the artwork.
BD: How do you think communities such as Tamworth benefit from taking part in large-scale arts activities such as The Big Draw Festival? Any advice you’d like to share to other councils for taking part in something of this scale?
TAE: The benefit of being part of a national initiative such as The Big Draw allows communities such as Tamworth to expand their reach and be a small part of a big picture. The campaign allows us to connect with other organisations nationally and embrace the common goal of inspiring everyone to have a go and draw!
BD: The last word goes to Tamworth Arts & Events!
TAE: Tamworth Arts & Events are really excited to be part of the Big Draw. This is our 1st year of being part of the campaign and it has already created a buzz with our artists, partners and community. The event will provide opportunities for people of all ages to contribute to community art and try something new and creative, while celebrating the town’s heritage.
We look forward to sharing our event photos and videos with you and other Big Draw participants.
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We hope you enjoyed our interview with Tamworth Art & Events! If you have been inspired by their insights why not become a part of the world's largest drawing festival in 2017?
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