Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Ring - Spring 2017 Newsletter

As we approach Easter, Manda and I wanted to send out a message to thank all the people who have been involved in The Ring so far and to give you a brief update on the project.

The first six months of The Ring has been a busy time; exploring the wonderful history of this fascinating group of waterways from the civil war to the founding of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and then on to the more recent community effort to reopen the lost sections of the Droitwich Canals. We've met with a wide range of local people, artists and waterways experts to develop a plan for six exciting art commissions.

Work has already begun on two commissions. Artist, Rich White has started his residency on Diglis Island, which features a large and striking crane that once lifted heavy timber and boats off the canal. The site also includes; three lock keepers cottages, the remains of a derelict chapel, two disused workshops, an orchard and allotment that were all at one time actively used by canal workers. Rich will explore the fascinating hidden history of this unique place and will be organising public events before eventually producing a new sculpture. Our second artist, Katy Beinart began work in Droitwich in March by exploring the extraordinary history of the salt brine barges with the support of local experts in order to develop a major new public artwork for the town.

We're also in the early stages of commissioning an floating bandstand to host music and performance events by the best of Worcestershire's vibrant music scene. Alongside this we are hoping to develop a music, dance and theatre performance to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of the restorers of the Droitwich Canal. Details of the artists involved with both commissions will be announced soon.

There will also be a major open call commission opportunity coming up later this year for regional artists and other opportunities for artists and public to take part and volunteer as the programme unfolds.

We are looking forward to launching our website and visual identity in May. Manda has been working closely with the Communications Team at the Canal & River Trust to develop a visual identity, website, launch film and  for The Ring. We are delighted that we have three superb West Midlands creative companies on board to help us; Native, F8 Creates and Green Gorilla Films. Our website will feature all the latest news and opportunities, photos, film and artist blogs. We can't wait to share this with you all.

Thank you to the wonderful support, ideas and enthusiasm from the Canal & River Trust staff, our partners, funders and supporters so far. It's been an amazing start, with so much more to come.

Please feel free to pass this message on to any friends or colleagues who are interested The Ring and follow this link to add your name to our mailing list.

We wish you all a lovely Easter.

Cathy Mager and Manda Graham
Artistic Director and Project Manager
The Ring

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