The Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival is in its 4th year and the line up is as impressive as ever
Come along on 12/13 September and join in the fun.
Amongst the new attractions this year is a light artist, a sculptor in willow and an internationally renowned costume designer.
As ever, the historic fishing village will become one huge art gallery, with local and national artists exhibiting in the quaint, higgledy piggledy houses – this year, a record-breaking 145 artists in 90 ‘galleries’
Light Fantastic an installation by light artist Mick Stephenson
Visitors to the two-day festival will be able to buy their favourite art work – though there’s no pressure – and we aim to entertain them too, with buskers on every corner and some great street food. There are practical workshops, guided walks and fascinating talks, including a session with Tim Birkhead, author of The Wisdom of Birds who has spent the last 40 years studying the seabirds of the British Isles.
Durham-based light artist Mick Stephenson will be illuminating the village in a unique and eye-catching way – look out for a giant deckchair by the harbour, a rather unusual Reliant Robin and some strange boats on the water!
Find Whitby sculptor Emma Stothard’s wonderful wire and willow animals dotted around the village – the kids will love spotting them. Her work is featured nationwide, in locations as grand as the Orchard Lawns at Highgrove, Le Manoir aux Quait’Saisons and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – and now Staithes!
Fine artist Sue Wilmington’s work has taken her all over the world; she’s designed costumes for La Boheme, The Pilgrims’s Progress and A Midsummer Nights Dream, and she’s bringing her exquisite drawings to the amazing Bethel Chapel. She’s currently working on a new production of Tristan and Isolde for Germany and a dance piece for China – so we’re very pleased to have her.
There’s a special exhibition in St. Peter’s Centre Staithes At War recalling U-Boat escapades, German spies, life in the air raid shelters and the tragic sinking of the ss Empire Heath with the loss of eight Staithes men.
Other guest speakers include Roger Osborne, author of the Dinosaur Coast and Curator of Geology at Whitby Museum, who will bring alive the extraordinary fossil and mineral heritage of the Yorkshire coastline; Barbara Morden, author of an acclaimed new biography of Dame Laura Knight, the most celebrated of the famous Staithes Group of painters; and Christine Pybus celebrates a great Staithes born artist, George Weatherill, ‘the Turner of the North.’
Gather at Kipper’s Corner for the outdoor picture show on Saturday night – it’s become a festival favourite, with old photos and film projected onto the wall with live piano accompaniment – it’s a real Cinema Paradiso.
One of the highlights in previous years has been Rod Jewell’s superb collection of Victorian lantern slides of Staithes and Runswick Bay taken by William Gilbert Foster R.B.A (1855-1906). The collection was found by Rod a few years ago in a garage lock-up in the midlands. Until then they had remained unseen for over 100 years. Rod will once again be holding a selling exhibition of his lantern slides and prints.
Tom & Rosamund Jordan have been dealers and specialists in the Staithes Group of artists for many years. Ros will give a well illustrated talk on the Group on both days of the festival.
Local historian Bill Hinchley will be leading walks around Staithes, pointing out its secret corners alongside tales of smugglers and murder. And tales of the sea will come from lifelong Staithes fisherman as he demonstrates the art of making lobster pots.
The Tea Shop, Staithes
The food and drink offerings will come not only from local pubs and cafés, but from local people offering up their homes as pop-up tea rooms. Jane Gjertson from the Ship Inn at Port Mulgrave will be running a vintage tea room from her cottage in Gun Gutter while gingerbread artist Liz Druce will be serving sweet and savoury delights from her beloved vintage VW campervan, Bella – just follow your nose!
Ted Gush will be turning up again this year with his fabulous herring pies; it’s to be hoped he makes twice the amount this year as they proved to be absolute winners! There will be tea rooms to discover along the way, as well as all the village pubs, bistros and cafes.
Throughout the weekend there will be a vibrant musical programme of bands, buskers, and choirs. The Staithes Festival website and Facebook page has details of exhibiting artists and the weekend programme of events as they develop.
The Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage is being supported by the Coastal Communities fund as part of the ‘Sea Life, See Life’ project delivered by the North York Moors National Park Authority.