Festival to celebrate the creative arts…and a Chicken Town

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A small telephone booth, a large historic house and a forest occupied by free-range hens dubbed Chicken Town will feature in a new ‘making’ festival, which celebrates the artistry, craftsmanship, beauty and satisfaction that come with making creation.

The inaugural Angus Festival of Making will bring together the wealth of creativity and manufacturing across the North East region, from weaving, pottery and painting, to food and drink.

Scheduled for August 20-28, the new festival will showcase arts, crafts and handmade products, and offer the chance to try out new creative pursuits in a series of taster sessions and workshops.

Venues include Murton Farm in Forfar, a sprawling former quarry, nature reserve and visitor farm, which will run maker sessions for children and young people.

At the other end of the spectrum is 128 Telephone Box Gallery, a contemporary art micro-gallery in a traditional red phone booth in Kirriemuir, where festival founder and artist Dierdre Bennett plans to exhibit objects made from of recycled materials from its print shop.

The venues also include illustrator Grisel Miranda’s studio and shop, The Art Shed in Montrose, which will showcase the work of 16 different Angus artists.

There will be readings from her two illustrated children’s books, and tours of her studio, outdoor organic garden with polytunnel and Chicken Town, a fun forest space occupied by repatriated hens and a rooster.

A range of individual workspaces, art studios and creative spaces dotted around the region will also open throughout the festival, while food artisans will offer tastings including chocolate pies and beer.

A key event will take place at Brothock Gallery, Arbroath Library, which hosts Telling Tales, the first exhibition by Angus Creatives, a new group of artists inspired by the places where they live and work.

He will reflect on the history of the region’s inhabitants, its landscape and local products in works that use locally harvested materials.

While at Wellbank Hall, Wellbank, renowned heritage stone sculptor David McGovern of Monikie Rock Art is planning demonstrations and an exhibition while independent craft brewery Mór Beers will offer guided tastings of their beers.

Events are planned at Hospitalfield at Arbroath, a major arts and heritage organization which is currently displaying the sculpture Rio by Eduardo Paolozzi, on loan from the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.

And Kinnordy House, Kirriemuir, where hand weaver and scientist Lynne Hocking will offer visitors the chance to use her tabletop loom to contribute to a large collaborative piece, with the option to bring their own material to incorporate into the room.

There will also be opportunities at other locations to see weaver Rachel Bower creating willow baskets and exhibits of textile printing, ceramics, pottery and painted glass.

The festival – the first of its kind in the region – is initiated by Angus Creatives, a network of professional creatives living and working in the region, and supported by Angus Place Partnership, Creative Scotland and Angus Alive.

Co-founder Carol Sinclair of Angus Festival of Making said: “We are really excited to launch this new festival.

“There is a hidden wealth of creativity at Angus and we look forward to sharing our stories and inspiration.

“There will be a variety of opportunities to try hands-on manufacturing experiences, sample delicious local produce, and go behind the scenes to understand the skills and creativity that go into each product.”

All events will be free. A full program will be released in early August, along with an interactive online map and festival venue guide.

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