Artists showcase talent for festival

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The whole of Wirksworth became a stage last weekend for the launch of its annual arts festival.

Doors to secret hideaways in the historic towns higgledy piggley roads were flung open as part of Wirksworth Festival’s ever popular Art and Architecture Trail.

The streets heaved with both connoisseurs and curious onlookers as artists from far and wide exhibited their creations.

Among them for the first time was Wirksworth resident Gavin Repton, who for the past three years has done the videography for the festival.

His photographic exhibition included images of well known places such as Matlock Bath, laid over each other in order to create a fuller picture.

“It’s been really different this year being sat on the other side,” he said.

“It’s nice to be able to talk to all the people instead of running around and making videos.”

Puppet maker and animator Lucy Gell, of New Mills, showed off her colourful creations in the Scout Hut, in Cemetary Lane.

She has a wealth of experience having worked on well known children’s television programmes such as Bob the Builder and Postman Pat, as well as the Tim Burton film Mars Attacks.

Visitors who wondered into the Vicarage Gardens were intrigued to see the Life Boat exhibition, by The Institute for Crazy Dancing.

The award winning interactive piece was presented by Jason Hird, Asia Bas and Stevie Goodwin and featured the frame of a boat with hammocks hanging inside it for members of the audience to lie in while being spun around to the solemn sound of a beating drum.

Stevie explained: “People say to us ‘are you going to perform?’ and we say ‘no, you are’.

“We’re trying to get people to think about the world they live in a little bit.”

The fringe aspect of the festival was introduced last year and is proving to be a hit.

Over the opening weekend there were outdoor screenings of both Grease and the Woman in Black at the Lime Kiln, as well as a 1960s inspired performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It by the Jagged Fence production company in Symonds House garden.

Wirksworth Festival will go on until September 23. Listings are available by visiting www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk