A focus on contemporary visual art is one of the features that distinguishes Wirksworth Festival from other festivals in the region. It is unique in the way that it brings contemporary art to a rural community, offering the best of regional, national, international and emerging artists, outside of the confines of a traditional gallery space and accessible to everyone. One of the ways the Festival enables this is working with invited artists to curate an exhibition.
The Curated Exhibition is based on a theme which responds to the town and its buildings, its people or its surroundings. Wirksworth has a rural setting but is also within walking distance of the textile mills which sparked the Industrial Revolution and until recently was itself a site for textile, quarrying and mining industries. Each September the Festival weaves this complex of rural, post-industrial, heritage and modern digital elements into one of the most vibrant arts events in the calendar, offering a developing programme of high quality contemporary visual art that is ambitious, accessible and thought provoking.
‘The Family Show’ at Wirksworth Festival 2018
Curated by local Wirksworth artists Johnny White and Amanda Wray, last year’s exhibition celebrated all things family.
Shown in and around The Maltings (formerly the Parish Room) and St. Mary’s Church, the exhibition featured the humorous and quirky kinetic sculptures of White-Wray alongside paintings by Tracy Keeping, animation by the Singh Twins, large-scale playful Church Urchins installations by Andi Dakin, and an immersive experience with Andy Plant and Tim Hunkin’s Astronauts Caravan.