Felixstowe’s Art on the Prom promises an inspirational walk along the seafront
- Credit: BARRY PEACOCK
Felixstowe’s annual open-air art festival, Art on the Prom, returns this year with a carnival atmosphere and a timely message about the environmental dangers of single use plastic
One of Suffolk's most spectacular and inspirational events of the year is Felixstowe's Art on the Prom where a mile of promenade becomes a showcase for some of the county's most creative artists.
This free art festival, now in its 16th year, returns to Felixstowe seafront on Sunday September 1, and will stretch from the pier to the Spa Gardens, showcasing more than 100 artists to over 20,000 visitors making it one of the biggest outdoor art festivals in East Anglia.
A wide variety of work will be on show, displaying pieces produced by local artists, both professional and amateur, featuring glass, ceramics, metalwork, willow work, painting and a variety of mutli-media forms.
The open-air art festival, which has a celebratory air, gives visitors the chance to purchase pieces of art to take home along with offering the opportunity to take part in have-a-go activities allowing all age groups to create a piece of art to take away.
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Visitors can make a day of it, with Art on the Prom conjuring up a feast for the senses. The seafront festival also includes music from singers and live bands, along with plenty of street food and refreshments.
Art on the Prom is laid out in such a way as to encourage visitors to have a leisurely stroll while taking in the art work on display. The artists are present so people can have fascinating conversations with the creative minds behind the art and gain an insight into how these imaginative pieces were made.
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Nichola Adams, Art on the Prom organiser explains: "Art on the Prom has grown into a really special, local tradition. It really is democratising art - anyone can apply, anyone can visit and we want to keep it that way. It's brilliant to have the schools involved so that everyone can feel a part of the day and it's a great way to use our beautiful prom and show off what Felixstowe has to offer. It's another one of the town's amazing events run entirely voluntarily, so it's a great way of bringing the community together."
In the lead up to the event, willow artist Tracy Barritt-Brown, creator of the Spa Garden's willow family, has been busy creating a large plastic octopus sculpture made of buoys, nets, fishing wire and other plastics collected locally. Following the event the spectacle of tentacles will be on display at Felixstowe Ferry.
Tracy recently led a schools project for Art on the Prom, sponsored by Jackamans Solicitors, to engage schools in Felixstowe to collect single-use plastic. Pupils from Causton Junior School, Langer Primary School and Colneis Junior School collected 20 square metres of plastic, which would have otherwise gone into landfall. This waste has been transformed into an underwater world of corals, creatures and sea plants made of plastic waste to accompany the Octopus on display at the festival.
Installation creator Tracy Barritt-Brown was thrilled by the imagination and commitment shown by the youngsters: "The creativity of the students was wonderful. Their vision for turning everyday objects, which otherwise would be waste, into sea creatures was amazing! We had flatfish, pufferfish and even a lobster. The students all had a chance to use tools and equipment they may not have used before and had freedom for a day to immerse themselves in a purely creative environment, the products of which will be exhibited at Art on the Prom for all to see on 1st September. It's a really enriching project which everyone is so happy to be involved in."
A travelling exhibition Food Wars: The Battle on the Home Front, designed by Esastern Angles theatre company, will also be on display at the event, exploring the relationship between conflict and food, with original documents and archive footage of East Anglia from the Imperial War Museum.
Art on the Prom is expecting a bumper year of visitors this year, attracting more than 20,000 visitors, growing year-on-year, showcasing art along Felixstowe's award winning seafront to visitors from far and wide.
Art on the Prom is a non-profit event, run by volunteers and would not be the success it is without the time and effort of volunteers. To plan your day and for more event information please visit www.artontheprom.uk or follow @artontheprom on social media platforms.