The Trail Must Go On… line

We are so excited to announce that Wirksworth Festival has commissioned acclaimed filmmaker, Gavin Repton, to create a short film in celebration of our annual Art & Architecture Trail.

Made in Wirskworth film montage

We are so excited to announce that Wirksworth Festival has commissioned acclaimed filmmaker, Gavin Repton, to create a short film in celebration of our annual Art & Architecture Trail. It will be the centrepiece of our first Online Festival, taking place on Facebook from 11 – 13 September 2020.

2020 is the first time in 25 years that Wirksworth hasn’t been able to hold its annual arts festival which includes our trailblazing Art & Architecture Trail, where 150 artists show their work in around 70 venues throughout the town.

Co-created by 30 artists in lockdown, this new film, Made in Wirksworth: the Virtual Art & Architecture Trail, explores the rich and diverse creatives that make up the large and vibrant artist community of Wirksworth. Filmed by each individual artist in their homes, studios and in the landscape, the film offers a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into the lives and work of artists, and their relationship to where they live and practice. It is a testament to the contribution the artists have made to the Festival and its rural location since it began over 25 years ago. The Festival is proud to have the support of local business, Longcliffe Quarries Ltd. in commissioning this film.

Wirksworth Festival 2020 will also feature a weekend programme of handpicked online performance events from the extensive local performing arts community, plus some other Festival favourites, including family theatre company, Red Earth Theatre. There will also be a series of talks and interviews exploring contemporary art, how the town has responded creatively to the lockdown and a look at some past Festival highlights. There are also plans for small-scale physical exhibitions in the town.

Carol Taylor, Wirksworth Festival Chair said, “When we first realised back in March that it would be impossible to physically hold our annual festival, the initial feeling was one of great disappointment. However, the Festival team very quickly sprung into action with ideas of how we could keep the Festival alive for our local and regional community and to support the profile of local artists.  Wirksworth Festival is a big highlight of the East Midlands cultural calendar and so, we hope our Online Festival will bring the Wirksworth Festival spirit into the homes of people far and wide! This very special film we’ve commissioned, alongside a rich programme of online performance events, talks and interviews is a new and exciting adventure for the Festival and will make the Festival accessible to old and new audiences alike!”

Viv Russell​, Longcliffe Group Managing Director said, “We are delighted to support Wirksworth Festival and enable them to commission this fascinating and entertaining short film shining a light on the superb artist community in Wirksworth. Established nearly 100 years ago and employing over 170 people, many from the local area, Longcliffe recognises its responsibilities within the local community. We are 100% committed to supporting the local community, their arts, their recreation and employment.”

Made in Wirksworth: the Virtual Art & Architecture Trail will be shown on Friday 11 September at 8pm on the Festival’s digital channels as well as at a live open air cinema event, ticketed and hosted by the Northern Light Cinema. This event also sees Haarlem Artspace open their new online and gallery exhibitions re:rural – four contemporary artists un-learn and re-imagine the rural.

The online performance and talks programme will take place from Sat 12 – Sun 13 September on the Festival’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Made in Wirksworth: the Virtual Art & Architecture Trail has been supported by Longcliffe Quarries Ltd.

For more information about this year’s online Festival programme, visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Youtube.

Feature image top left to right: Josie Walter, Geoff Litherland, Amanda Wray, John Wheeldon
Bottom left to right:  Bernie Rutter, Maggie Cullen, Johhny White