Lift the Lid Picnic – 26 July 2019

During the wonderful Ventnor Fringe celebrations in July 2019, Lift the Lid was invited by Ventnor Exchange to host a picnic with a difference. Members of the public were welcomed to Ventnor Park, to bring a picnic and to explore boxes brought along by members of the Isle of Wight CEP and beyond.

There were some intriguing objects sparking laughter, conversation and creativity. Here’s a selection of photographs from the event by Lift the Lid photographer Alice Armfield.

We were joined on the day by:

  • English Heritage
  • The Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • New Carnival Company
  • Quay Arts
  • Philip Bell from Beachy Books
  • Quay Crafts
  • Artecology
  • Isle of Wight Council’s Heritage Services representing Newport Roman Villa and Carisbrooke Castle Museum
  • The Shipwreck Museum
  • Lift the Lid (and Quay Arts) Artist, Hannah George

Thank you to all who came and made the event a wonderful success.

Lid lifted on four new art commissions for the Isle of Wight

Around 60 guests were presented with 4 new art commissions created as part of the Lift the Lid project on Sunday 15 September 2019, 2pm at Quay Arts.

Lift the Lid: A Look Inside was an event especially for people who were involved in any of the art commissions and the audience represented a number of those including those from Totland Parish Council, East Cowes Town Council and Ventnor Exchange.

Sue Bailey retells a story about the Ventnor Giant

Guests were treated to a story inspired by Phlegm’s Ventnor Giant mural, presented by storyteller Sue Bailey and created by pupils from an Island school. The Great Light and Dark Show, an event in Totland by artist Julie Myers back in June 2019 was represented by a film documenting both the event and the people of Totland. BearFace Theatre CIC then performed ‘We that breathe’, a community theatre show inspired by folklore stories from The Sacred Isle’s Paul Wilson, workshops with residents at Mountbatten Hospice and those involved with WOW Women’s Centre in Newport, with help from a puppet workshop at Barton Primary. Finally the audience were shown a excerpt from Dmitri Galitzine’s film Back and Forth, featuring many of East Cowes residents. 

So what’s next for Lift the Lid? Jacqui Cusack, Arts Manager at Quay Arts, lead partner of the Cultural Education Partnership who commissioned the art said

“The past year has been about exploring the cultural heritage of the Island through art commissions in unexpected places and we’re so pleased with progress. Now we are focusing on helping teachers get to grips with OFSTEDs mandate to build cultural capital in children and young people, and so we have expanded our annual Cultural Expo event to a full blown conference featuring the well-known educationalist Professor Mick Waters. We’ll be at Oakfield CE Primary School in Ryde on Friday 11 October, and I’d like to invite all headteachers and arts coordinators, plus school governors with a focus on the arts, to join us for this inspiring day.”

Phlegm’s Ventnor Giant inspires Island children

Since the Project’s first art commission was complete in August 2018, during the Ventnor Fringe Festival, school children have had the opportunity to respond creatively to the Ventnor Giant mural.

The children’s work was temporarily stuck on the wall under the mural.

Having trained as an Arts Award advisor through Lift the Lid, teacher Clare Wright has been working with a group of Year 6 pupils from Oakfield Primary School in Ryde, using the artist Phlegm as inspiration for their own work.

“Year 6 has been researching a world famous street artist, who has created the Island’s largest mural in  Ventnor.  It depicts one of the artist’s famous characters holding the town of Ventnor on it’s back or letting it fall into the sea.  The inspiration for the mural was the architecture, geography and people of the town. As part of ArtsMark, Oakfield Primary is working with Lift The Lid, a new island wide campaign which aims to foster a sense of pride and passion in Island towns and their cultural heritage. The students’ artwork was temporarily stuck to the wall, under the mural,  in Ventnor, before being transferred to our gallery in the school’s Creation Station”

Meanwhile, schools near Ventnor have been working with storyteller Sue Bailey on developing stories about the Ventnor Giant. We hope to share some of these with you in the next few weeks.

If you want to join in the creative fun, then join us at Sandown’s Hullabaloo event on 11 and 12 May, where you can take part in a storytelling workshop with Sue Bailey, or go and watch BearFace Theatre to see what they have developed so far as part of the Newport art commission, with Mountbatten, Barton Primary School and WOW Women’s Centre, based on a story told to them by Sacred Isle‘s Paul Wilson.

First Artists Commission – Phlegm!

The very first artists commission has been created as part of the Lift the Lid project, during Ventnor Fringe 2018. On the main road into Ventnor, keep your eyes peeled for the three-storey high mural, sprayed on the side on a building.

What is it? Who is he? The Ventnor Giant… a new legend perhaps? We think that there is a story to tell here!

A short video of the creation by Glasshouse productions can be seen above.

Read more about Phlegm’s mural for the Ventnor Fringe 2018.

Photographs by Julian Winslow.

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Phlegm’s mural, the Ventnor Giant

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The Ventnor Giant by Phlegm

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Phlegm’s Ventnor Giant