One of the huge joys of the Test Valley is the ‘get up and go’ of small local communities who want to make things happen. Such was the ‘Over the Top’ project of St Johns in North Baddesley who draped their ancient church tower in red knitted poppies. This fantastic local project was their tribute and contribution to the one hundred years anniversary of World War One. The end result was stunning, beautiful and moving, attracting the attention of the national press. Test Valley Arts Foundation (TVAF) is delighted to have invested in this excellent venture.
Live, Laugh, Love Test Valley is a community photography project aimed at sharing the beauty of Test Valley and serving as a platform for aspiring and professional photographers alike. It aims to unite the towns of Andover, Stockbridge and Romsey and their surrounding villages/parishes by depicting their natural beauty and varied history.
The website will provide a central location where photographs taken throughout the Test Valley can be posted and shared with the wider world. Vintage family photos submitted will provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
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ANDOVER YOUNG MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS – St Mary’s Church, Andover, 11 February 2016
Now in its fourth year, Test Valley Arts Foundation (TVAF) has once again sponsored two of the awards at the recent Andover Young Musician of the Year event held at St Mary’s Church in Andover in support of St Mary’s Church Appeal. This is a very popular and well attended event, involving 3 categories of music: classical, popular and choir.
Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire, hosted the event and it was judged by local musicians: Julian Dawes, Andrew Pomphrey and Sharron Vannell, who provided excellent feedback to the participants.
Michael Widén, Development Officer, presented the Hubert Dawkes trophy to Georgia Day, who not only won the Popular Music category, but was also judged to be the overall winner of the event. This also included a cash prize donated by TVAF.
Sue Messa, future TVAF Development Officer, presented the award for best Choir to the Girls’ Close Harmony Group.
February 11 saw a near capacity audience at The Lights to see And Now We Tell Our Tale, a production based on the testimony and memories of the people of Andover about the redevelopment of the town in the 1960s.
This play was originally performed one year ago as a piece of youth theatre, using 54 children and young adults using the actual words of people affected by these changes. Thanks to funding from HCC, TVBC, Be Wiser, Aster Housing, The Lights and Test Valley Arts Foundation, professional actors were used and in addition to the performance at The Lights, the production has toured many of the local schools during the week.
This new version was rewritten by Roy Chatfield, for five professional actors, and included additional stories from the original interviews; it was directed by John Baxter and whilst he has over 200 productions to date, this was his first experience of using professional actors. As John says ‘It is an event in itself that we're bringing professional actors into local schools. That it's a piece of theatre about Andover and created wholly in Andover makes it unique.’
The production was fantastically well received by a very enthusiastic audience and the evening ended with John Baxter inviting comments from the audience some of whom had originally contributed their memories to the piece and able to elaborate further on their individual involvement.
"The Wonders of O’ BUS-cura”
Laurence Dube-Rushby, french artist and Chapel Arts Associates, transformed The Test Valley Art Bus into a magic "Camera Obscura” using ancient photographic process and drawing, to capture the magic of the Christmas at the Great hall, Winchester, 23rd of December, 5.00pm. The event was part of the Woolly Hat Fair Advent Calendar this year; a Door in the city was to open on each December day. The Artbus opened as door 23.
Laurence created a “Zoetrope”, a victorian style animation device, made from mundane objects such as a bread bin, record player and a bedside lamp, and invited the public to draw their own story strip in an outdoor workshop.
People were invited to enter the Artbus for a demonstration of the Zoetrope and talk by Elliot Rushby (10 year old assistant). Laurence guided the participants through the designing of story strips which they could thereafter place in the Zoetrope for show.
The one hour event attracted an amazing 55 participants and further visitors.
Artist Nicola Henshaw took the Arts bus into the centre of Romsey on Saturday, to gather memories and seek stories relating to the railway line (including the Sprat and Winkle line), the Plaza, the canal and the water meadows. As part of her Abbotswood project Nicola welcomed Romsey residents of all ages onto the bus to tell us their tales - old and new.
The exhibition at Chapel Arts Studios is open to the public daily from 11am to 4pm until 31st August.
This year’s Open Studio is one of group celebration. It's a chance to look back over some of what Chapel Arts Studios (CAS) has achieved and an opportunity to see how and where it has grown.
Many projects will be on show. The Bureau of Exchange: a 4 week artist-led shop in Andover, complete with a March for Optimism; the ongoing transformation of a redundant Mobile Library into an Arts Bus; the developing Dissent project with a sister show The Laboratory of Dissent running at the Winchester Gallery for 5 weeks; and the latest Educational Residencies and Programmes.
This last year CAS has expanded, taking on board 18 associate artists and now is a chance to see their work, as well as some future projects and challenges they are undertaking.
On 21st August, Chapel Arts hosted a private view, to mark the event opening. The event was supported by the Leaders of Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council, Roy Perry and Ian Carr. The Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Iris Anderson presented a cheque of £1,000 to the Chairman of Test Valley Arts Foundation, Yinnon Ezra MBE. This money was donated by Bryan Beggs and his wife Diana, authors of ‘The Churches of Test Valley’ which is sold in support of Test Valley Arts Foundation.