As many of you may know, each September Junction Arts and the Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service deliver the Tapton Lock Festival, a popular weekend event for all the family which is attended by many hundreds of people.
It was with great sadness that we had to cancel the 2020 Festival due to the Covid – 19 Pandemic but we were determined to do something in its place that would involve and give pleasure to the community. With this in mind, we invited the public to submit their creative responses to the area for the Tapton Lock Outdoor Art Exhibition.
The work we received was of a very high standard, in a wide range of art forms and from all ages and the work selected really does reflect the diversity and splendour of nature. Some of the boards feature a QR code that take you to audio recordings of the poetry and songs.
The exhibition was installed around the Visitor Centre for six weeks during September and October and was admired by regular walkers and cyclists and also attracted new visitors to the area. Here are some comments about the exhibition:

“A great way to share inspiration and joy during a difficult time.”

“Thank you again for including me in such a fabulous exhibition. It’s been a pleasure seeing my poem…”

“We visited the exhibition early in September on a hot day and had a wonderful walk along the canal with my daughter and grandson and enjoyed seeing the exhibits.”

Tapton Lock(Down) Zine

The Tapton Lock(Down) zine is a new publication to commemorate the festival. It includes some of the artwork from the exhibition plus additional submissions from the Writing Ambitions project.
Writing Ambitions is a Derbyshire County Council art project that provides five writers with the paid opportunity to work to commission with a Derbyshire based festival. We were partnered with Kaozara Okikiola Oyalowo, a writer and poet from Leicester who was assigned to work with the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community in Chesterfield, to engage them with the event.
Kaozara should have begun work in the Spring, but her plans had to be adapted and changed in response to the restrictions imposed. As a result, there were a lot of challenges and it was difficult to develop meaningful relationships with the communities.
However, Kaozara did receive some submissions of artwork and poetry that you can read in the zine and we hope to develop the relationships further, with a view to making connections again in the lead up to next years event.

Here are few words from Kaozara about her experience:

“This year, my hope as an artist was to work with Junction Arts to deliver workshops and to write poems with the different ethnic groups in Derbyshire. I wanted to showcase the community’s artistry with a focus on the natural environment and health and wellbeing. In the future, I highly hope that Junction Arts and I can interact more with the local BAME communities to create work that will be showcased in future Tapton Lock Festivals”

You can listen to Kaozara’s Poem “Tapton Ducks’ on our Soundcloud:

We would like to thank Wilkins Vardy for supporting the exhibition and The Chesterfield General Charitable Fund for funding the zine.

Here is an online version of the exhibition.

Hover over the images with your mouse to read about the artist. Click the images to enlarge.

Click below to see the festival throughout the years