Arts at the Festival of Thrift

The arts feature in surprising ways the Festival of Thrift. Each year we invite new artists to join us, some of whom work with the Festival team and local communities, culminating in new and unexpected activities and installations at Festival site each year.

2017 Artists

The 2017 Festival featured a new project with Navigator North called LATEST EDITIONS. Three emerging northern artists, Becki Harper, Carol Devey Haughton and Diane Watson were selected following a regional call out and worked with established artists Nick Kennedy, Theresa Easton and Alex Sickling. This project focused on helping the artists to develop ways of becoming more financially savvy and making a living from their creativity. The selected artists each received a bursary to create new work which featured in an exhibition over the Festival weekend, which will go on to tour three regional exhibition venues in 2018. Here’s the full story.

2016 Artists

As part of the 2016 Festival, Navigator North worked with us to produce STABLE, where five emerging North East artists Christina Hesford, Paul Murray,  Kirsty Childs, Janet Rogers and Becky Nicholson, worked with professional artist Steve Messam

came together to use the space to showcase striking new artworks to temporarily transform the old stable block, mentored by internationally renowned installation artist Steve Messam. Here’s the full story.

Other artists appearing in 2016 included, Clare Patey, who interviewed local residents for Empathy Museum’s Mile in My Shoes, and Quarantine who showed us that Between Us We Know Everything, filming hundreds of us talking about our passions and hobbies. Track by Graeme Miller gave us a new perspective on our surroundings as did the The Institute of Crazy Dancing’s ‘Life Boat’, Mouthful created our first Phoenix Choir and performing artists including Theatre Hullabaloo, Mufti Games, Mischief La Bas, Corey Baker Dance to name but a few kept us entertained


2015 Artists

2015 was our last year at Lingfield Point in Darlington. The Festival commissioned and featured a host of artists providing interactive installations for all visits to enjoy. The Festival opened in the town centre with a huge community built tower of cardboard, by French  artist Olivier Grossetete   while at the Festival, visitors interacted with a newly commissioned installation ‘Darly’ by Hannah Fox  to celebrate 190 years since the world’s first passenger steam railway.  Also featured were performances by Dutch Swoolish Garage ‘Vespaqua’, Plungeboom, Urban Playground and Pif Paf, and   new community dances were staged  by Folk Dance Remixed – who worked in partnership with Dance City to  offer dance workshops to local school children. Homeliveart brought their Alternative Village Fete with a full programme of new and upcoming artists.


2014 Artists

In 2014 Barcelona’s Francisco de Pajaro featured with his ‘Art is Trash’ project, where pop-up installations popped up in surprising places in Darlington town centre in the week before the Festival – as well as on the Festival site –Shane Waltener ran workshops before the Festival to build a fabulous natural installation, made by the local community and woven and completed at the Festival. Several new commissions were created in partnership with Homeliveart.


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