We got back from camping at the last ever Art in Action at Waterperry House near Oxford a few weeks back, very sad that this fabulous event is ending after 40 brilliant years.
Art in Action offers a feast for the senses. Lovely food, music, some of the world’s finest creative talents, and the best loos I have seen at a large festival, by far.
Demonstrations from iron-metal workers, weavers, pot-throwers, glass blowers (to name but a few); green lawns filled with the sounds of orchestras; orchards next to the campsite; the popular practical classes tent filled with people trying out calligraphy, sculpture, pottery and watercolour…
Peter Wood who runs green woodworking courses in Derbyshire was there, supervising 8 or so youngsters eagerly pole lathe turning as we stroll by, as well as Steve Robinson, who runs popular glass courses in Pembrokeshire and Carole King who teaches beautiful book binding at Cardigan Castle.
I remember the magical atmosphere from stays at Art in Action as a child. Dad would be demonstrating his rocking horse carving and us kids would be making clay coil pots and leather bracelets in the workshops tent. The School of Economic Science, who run Art in Action, also organise all sorts of interesting philosophy circles and arts events. I often attended during my London years and still feel a residual benefit in my life.
Maybe we just notice more because Harm is Dutch, but there were lots of cloggies this year at Art in Action! We chatted with the lovely and talented ceramicist Ellen Rijsdorp as well as artist Marian de Wit who has travelled over from the Netherlands for two years in a row now to work as an Art in Action volunteer.
A wonderful event which will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt thanks to all of the organisers and volunteers and demonstrators of all of the last 40 years - you created something great.
by Kate Dewmartin
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