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Arts and heritage festival set to transform Staithes into one huge gallery

Light art installation by Mick Stephenson at Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage 2017. Saturday 9 September. w173502e Picture: Ceri Oakes'
Light art installation by Mick Stephenson at Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage 2017. Saturday 9 September. w173502e Picture: Ceri Oakes'

This year, the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage has commissioned blacksmith Katie Ventress to create a piece of work especially for the festival, which will be put up down by the harbour.

As ever, the historic fishing village will become one huge art gallery over September 8 and 9, with local and national artists exhibiting in the quaint, higgledy piggledy houses – last year, a record-breaking 130 artists in 90 ‘galleries’.

Multi media artist Paul Czainski in his cottage studio at the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage 2017. Saturday 9 September. w173501k Picture: Ceri Oakes

Multi media artist Paul Czainski in his cottage studio at the Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage 2017. Saturday 9 September. w173501k Picture: Ceri Oakes

Among the new attractions this year is Swinging the Lamp, the remarkable true story, told in music, words and song, of the toughest job in the world, as seen through the eyes of a trawler skipper.

This year, the festival has commissioned artist blacksmith Katie Ventress to create a piece of work especially for the festival, which will be put up down by the harbour.

Katie will talk about her inspiration for this piece and her career as a blacksmith. You might have seen her on Countryfile!

Sue Willmington lives locally, but designed costumes for some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world. During the festival, Sue will be exhibiting and talking about her varied and fascinating life with some of the world’s best known opera companies and the directors that have helped to make them famous.

Simon Chapman, author, historian and industrial archaeologist, is the leading authority on the ironstone mines that encircled Staithes 100 years ago when the village had more miners than fishermen.

Simon will talk about the subject of his monograph Boulby Ironstone Mine and its lost community of Tin City.

There’s a special exhibition of figure compositions by local artist Ian Burke, who is Head of Art at Eton College.

Visitors to the two-day festival will be able to buy their favourite 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 Chris Toth, back by public demand to tell us about the mysteries of the universe explored 1,500 metres beneath our feet at the Boulby Underground Laboratory, in pursuit of the missing Dark Matter.

More on the festival in next week’s Gazette.