I ain’t half been a bit busy, Miss! Just coming off the back of one of the busiest weekends of the year in Medway, I’m taking today to pause, and reflect on what a weekend it was.
Medway Open Studios is a festival launched by the wonderful Heather Burgess (also of Sun Pier House fame), to raise awareness of the artists and makers that practice locally.
Now in its second year, I happily took part in the Maker’s Market at Sun Pier House, Chatham in my alter ego as bunted! fairy. We had a stall over two days, and used the opportunity to get to know more creatives in the area, and to visualise how we want our BRAND NEW STUDIO to look. Did I tell you we have a BRAND NEW STUDIO IN WHICH TO WORK? Not sure if I’ve mentioned that before.
The first weekend of the festival coincided with the Rochester Lit Fest Garden Party, and happily with about forty thousand other craft fairs, so when I wasn’t manning the bunting stall, I was skipping merrily about poking around looking at other peoples’ art. In particular, the lovely Ben Cameron of Strange Paul Fame (more on him later!)
Don’t it half look impressive with a black and white instagram filter on?
The above print is by local printmaker Heather Haythornthwaite. I’ve been looking for ages for a print of something distinctly Rochestarian, just in case I ever leave this place. I want something that reminds me instantly of where I came to live, and how much this place has come to mean to me, but without being too realistic. I wanted something emotive.
When I saw this, I realised it captured almost everything I love about this place. It’s wonky, it’s old, it’s a copy of a copy of a nicer, richer city. But it’s also totally charming, and I want it for my own.
Look, I know I go on and on about how bloody marvellous this place is. It must be tiresome. But I feel so passionate about what’s happening here, that I just can’t help myself.
Community engagement is SO where it’s at.