Tapton_Flyer 2015

Crafting paper animals, outdoor activities and a Chesterfield Townscape installation

What a roaring success! After many months of planning and lots of hard work the event went ahead on the 14th and 15th September at Tapton Lock Visitor Centre on the Chesterfield Canal. Saturdays’ weather was glorious and to our relief the storms and gales that were forecast for Sunday didn’t appear.
In the week prior to the event creative workshops were delivered in two local schools. Artists worked with year 1 and 2 pupils from New Whittington Infants School and over 90 pupils of all ages from Ashgate Croft Special School to make brightly coloured images of the wildlife that inhabits the canal and surrounding area. The marquee was used as an exhibition space for this beautiful artwork and kingfishers, butterflies, dragonflies and fish covered the walls and created a striking backdrop for the performances and art stalls.

The weekend was packed with lots to do for all the family including arts workshops, performances, outdoor activities like canoeing and climbing and screenings of archive film on the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s narrow boat ‘John Varley’.

Artists Raphael Daden, Bobbie Harvey, Susan White and Phil Rawle offered a diverse range of workshops for the public to make their own artworks to take home and Sara and Robin Widdowson carried out a creative consultation with visitors to contribute to a permanent textile artwork that will be used by the Countryside Service to promote the canal and all that it offers.

A highlight of the weekend was the evolving imaginary Chesterfield Townscape installation. Visitors worked with Junction Arts staff and volunteers to make cardboard models of the buildings in town from carbon copy drawings they had made. By the end of Sunday there were over 50 stunning buildings on view from the past and present Chesterfield.

We were also thrilled to welcome the national Canal Poet Laureate, Jo Bell who read her own canal related poems in the marquee and a special Crowd Sourced Poem made up of contributions she collected each day from visitors.
Local band Soapbox Preacher also performed as did members of The Chesterfield Folk Club with a special appearance by Judy Dunlop and young people from Donut Creative Arts Centre.

This was a very special event for Junction Arts. It provided us with our first opportunity to work in local schools and to deliver an important local event to Chesterfield. It also enabled us to build a successful partnership with the Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service, who manages Tapton Lock and the Chesterfield Canal, and was a valuable opportunity for us to raise our profile in Chesterfield and to work with some new high profile artists.

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Junction Arts on the Chesterfield Canal, and to attract such fantastic artists and performers for this event was a real highlight. We also spoke to many local people about how they would like to see our canal-side events space being used in the future, and got some great ideas to follow up.”
Gemma Gregory (Tapton Lock Visitor Centre Environmental Services)
The event was funded by the Arts Council England, The National Lottery, Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council, and with valuable private sponsorship from Casa Hotel and Gilder Group Honda.