1:00pm Monday 23rd April 2012
By Debbie Waite
VISITORS to this year’s Art in Action festival in Oxfordshire can expect a right royal treat with the chance to meet the Queen’s ‘beasts’ and Kate Middleton’s wedding dress maker.
One of the longest-running festivals of art and craftsmanship in the UK, Art in Action is now in its 34th year and as always visitors will have the unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s most accomplished artists.
About 150 artists and 25,000 visitors are expected to pack the gardens of Waterperry House, near Wheatley, for the four-day festival in July.
Artists will set up their temporary studios and work in a wide range of disciplines, from painting and sculpture to ceramics and textiles.
And to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, there will some fabulous ‘royal’ touches.
Festival organiser Jeremy Sinclair, inset above, said: “We have a special one-off section of Commonwealth artists, including renowned calligrapher Dave Wood from Australia and Kim Myerson, a painter from South Africa, who describes her style as “contemporary realism”. We will also welcome Sarah Homfrey, who completed work on the Royal wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton last year.”
The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen and the lace bodice, featuring a rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock, was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court.
Mr Sinclair added: “Other Art in Action highlights include Tom Hiscocks, a sculptor whose passion for recycling and environmental issues has led him to recreate the Queen’s Beasts from recycled and reclaimed metals.”
The beasts are 10 heraldic statues depicting the genealogy of the Queen, which were made in plaster in 1953 for her coronation.
They were later given to Canada , and stone versions, commissioned in 1958, now reside in Kew Gardens.
Nine of the beasts will be on display at the event and Tom Hiscocks will work on producing a tenth using empty drink cans.
There will also be live music, lectures, storytelling and practical classes for adults and children in a host of art and craft skills.
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