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Winter 2021

Since our final Deep Roots Festival weekend in September, we have been delighted, and even humbled, to receive splendid reviews of the festival’s events. We have made these available to all to read: follow this link to our Deep Roots Festival pages! Many thanks to everyone who took the time and trouble to review our events.

We’d also like to thank the audiences who came to our live in person and our Zoom events; one of which was a brilliant online painting demonstration with successful local artist, Hester Berry. We were all in awe as she painted her self-portrait for us live on screen, answering questions from an interested audience throughout the session!

Hester Berry Self Portrait
Hester Berry Self Portrait

Our talks at Quince Honey Farm were enlightening, but a little sobering. Myc Riggulsford gave us a talk on Natural Capital, in his words: “The way we measure our economy doesn’t value an oak tree until it’s cut down and turned into timber for building, or burned as firewood, but that tree may have had a much deeper meaning for the local community, whose ancestors went courting under its branches for several hundred years. From 2020 the government was supposed to be including Natural Capital alongside Gross Domestic Product in the way we measure our economy, so has that oak tree now got a price?” 

Myc Riggulsford at Quince Honey Farm

Yet our audience members managed to salvage hope by considering the small, individual acts that we can all take part in to combat climate change. It was a very relevant talk, particularly as the UK was about host to UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

We also saw the culmination of our two community poetry and film projects, ‘Capturing South Molton in Your Words & Images’ by Gordon McKerrow and Katy Lee’s ‘Ode to the Ash Tree Poetry Project’. Gordon presented the legacy film for our town in a screening with a packed audience in South Molton Assembly Rooms. There were introductions by the town’s Mayor, Mervyn Way, and the film’s sponsor, Adam Crispin of Home Instead, North Devon & Exmoor. Having engaged with the local community, Gordon had received many drawings, paintings, music, words and poems, as well as making recorded readings: all included in the film.

Film Premiere South Molton Assembly Rooms
Film Premiere in the South Molton Assembly Rooms
Left to Right – South Molton Mayor Mervyn Way, Devon County Councillor Jeremey Yabsley, Selaine Saxby MP, Arts Destination Trustees Stella Levy and Alison Verney, Adam Crispin from Home Instead North Devon and Exmoor who sponsored the film and Gordon McKerrow who created it
Katy Lee at the Quince Honey Farm Hexagon
Katy Lee at the Quince Honey Farm answering questions about the
Ode to the Ash Tree Poetry Project

Katy’s poetry project was aimed at highlighting Ash Dieback Disease, with all age groups involved: a pen-pal scheme between Eastleigh Care Homes residents and schoolchildren worked well, even with Covid restrictions still in place. In South Molton Community Woodlands, twenty short films of Katy performing poems contributed by project participants were made; visitors to the woodlands could actually view them in situ via a QR Code!

Ash Die Back
Ash Die-back

In October Arts Destination South Molton (ADSM) were invited to collaborate with South Molton Business Association (SMBA) to provide art-inspired ideas for inclusions in SMBA’s ‘Winter Wonderland by Day’ event. So ADSM will bring a new arts event to the town,Fun with Arts‘. It will take place in the Assembly Rooms on Sunday, 5th December, from 10am to 3pm.

ADSM has invited local artists and makers to display, sell and demonstrate their artwork and, in particular, to encourage families – and everyone – to join in with fun Christmassy arts activities. Fun with Arts‘ will be a brilliant way to meet and chat with the artists and makers, see how their art is created and have a go yourself!

During our ‘Fun with Arts day, as well as showing a display of the real life contributions of community members to our legacy film, we are offering further opportunities to view ‘Capturing South Molton in Your Words & Images’ – and to meet the filmmaker himself, Gordon McKerrow. Do tell your friends and family in case they missed the September première.

Put the 5th December in your diary!

We look forward to meeting you at Fun with Arts on the ‘Winter Wonderland by Day’.

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