Thursday, 14 June 2012

A peek into Wonderland

In an unassuming shed in West Yorkshire, frenzied activity is well under way for this year's community art extravaganza - the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade! Oh, the excitement!

Last year it was just the boys and I who paraded (and my costume was a little half-hearted to be honest due to trying to control two small boys in the midst of art chaos!), the year before that we were rapt observers but this year all four of us are going to be part of the event. It feels brilliant that we're all creating together but it involves some crazy times to get everyone's costumes made on time.

Every year I'm bowled over by this incredible event happening right here in our little town. The parade itself is a wonderful thing to witness - but the work that goes into making it happen is nothing short of miraculous...

A team of frankly amazing community artists headed up by Andrew Kim manage to mould the ideas and creations of literally hundreds of people into a cohesive collection of paradable art. They also manage to make between them enormous withy sculptures; paper mache giants; banners and inflatables that make the brain boggle.

Going along to the big shed where all the magic happens is so exciting for all involved; there's an almost electric buzz about the place as a whole community gets creative. Art works come together from nothing but bits of cardboard, masking tape and paint. Children are encouraged to create their own costumes as well as the adults so it really does feel like everyone has ownership of the event.

I'm always massively moved by the whole thing...I've yet to go a year without crying somewhere along the process. For me it reveals the power and wonder of what people can achieve when they work together creatively and collaboratively.

So, if you're free on 23rd June, and you fancy witnessing something wonderful - please come along and see the procession. You won't be disappointed.


Clare said...

I have just caught up with your wonderful blog having not checked it for a while and especially like your entry about getting lost in nature. I have just discovered my friend Jo's blog called 'beneath the surface' and her words on a book she discovered in a flea market called fairy tales in science. Its about fairies opening our eyes to the beauty in nature - i think you might like it so check it out!

Selina Gough said...

Thanks Clare. I looked for Jo's blog on Google and couldn't find it just called beneath the surface? Can you post a link please? x