Festivals, Youth Engagement

Beltane Fire Festival


The first festival of 2015 was a very creative experience and this is my third year of being invited to create the children’s & teenage spray-painting art space at “Into The Wild Festival.” We celebrated spring on the May bank holiday at the Beltaine Fire Festival. Its always a really fun experience engaging teens and young festival goers with our all day drop-in workshops.. The concept is working so well as the choice of designs captivate the young at heart, its immediate and can be personalised. You don’t have to be the best artist in the world to get truly great results either. This time the team consisted of Alice, a new artist friend who has been helping me with my big mural, Katarina, a craft & collage maker and most excellent of friends, and Martin AKA CassetteLord street artist (also a really good old friend and regular festival partner in crime). The Into the Wild festivals are alcohol and drug free, and suggest you, “get into it, not out of it.” which is a great environment for young people as its safer and a less pressurised approach to self exploration (and far more healthy in my opinion.) The spray-painting area was yet again a huge success, and we were really busy assisting the creation of so many interesting artworks and having so much fun along the way!

Participants up-cycled lots of vinyl into all types of designs imaginable. One of our comments received was, “good banter, ” which coming from a teenager was high praise indeed. We aim to please and also impart some great skills along the way and our space is always full of young people exploring great ways to master those spray cans – One of the teenagers told us that he will use these ideas in his art GCSE! All materials are provided (artist included too) It’s important to me to keep it really affordable with prices starting around £5 for making. You can expect to spend anything from half an hour to two hours but usually keep coming back to do more once they get the bug…we even got to paint a musician’s instruments too….

This is the first time that we were asked to personalise some instruments and we were brought 2 wonderful instruments, an Irish drum and a ukulele to create a bespoke design. After creating the pieces , we felt really proud of the result which as you can see, worked beautifully and in harmony with the tradition of the instruments themselves. One happy musical customer meant we were treated to some great music playing whilst we were working which was a very unique and enjoyable experience. We would like to do more unusual objects and instruments in the future, so don’t forget bring something interesting to the next festival we are at- and lets see what we could create!

…and lastly (but not least) some pictures of nice camping rigs (my nerdishness is showing), the surrounding woods and other generally lovely things about the weekend…The decoration and beautifying of the surrounding woods is always a big part of these festivals and this year there were some beautiful artworks created. Featured as the main image to this blog is a mandala made from found nature from foraging in the local woods. Now I’ve seen this work at quite a few festivals before and I can only say that its breathtaking in its simplicity, complexity, colour and beauty. This time I was fortunate enough to meet the artist behind these works, Keith Beaney check him out…..beautiful stuff!

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