Have another look at b-side contemporary arts festival

DOUBLE TAKE: Alistair Gentry has been exploring the folklore around the lagomorph which can’t be named on Portland

DOUBLE TAKE: Alistair Gentry has been exploring the folklore around the lagomorph which can’t be named on Portland

First published in Stage Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by

A LULLABY delivered by bike, art at the bus stop, a seaside puppet show with a twist, stories engraved on cutlery and a debate with a rabbit on Portland are all part of this year’s b-side festival, which begins tomorrow.

Running from September 5 to 14, b-side contemporary arts festival takes an alternative view of Portland, exploring this island location and its rich geo-graphical, social and cultural histories.

Artists have been researching the area, collecting ideas and meeting Portland residents who have contributed to many of the new artworks being created Alistair Gentry has been exploring the folklore around the lagomorph which must not be named on Portland.

Dressed in a bizarre, slightly disturbing costume, he will talk to local people and festival visitors, gathering and telling tales of the locally maligned long-eared furry animals.

Ania Bas has been working with local people to create micro narratives which will be engraved onto sets of cutlery at The Sugar Loaf Café on Portland.

Tim Spooner has created a puppet show set against a backdrop of the sea. The puppets are created from materials Tim has found on Portland, and unusual substances manipulated by magnets and electricity.

Tom Marshman will share the memories and thoughts of people who have sponsored a seat at The Royal Manor Theatre on Portland.

His performance draws on the lives of local residents and will be performed at the theatre for festival visitors.

Alex Hartley has collected a selection of migratory stones which have arrived on Portland.

Some of these rocks have arrived naturally while others, including the ballast from a wreck and geologists’ tracer pebbles, have been brought to the island by human activity.

Festival Producer Sandy Kirkby said: “We have gathered a wonderful selection of artists for this year’s festival. Our artists have been working on Portland over the last year, investigating, researching and collecting stories, ideas, information and artefacts to create artworks that offer everyone another way of exploring place – a b-side journey.

“Artists can help us look at the world differently, explore a new place or rediscover familiar places, enabling us to see things in a new light.”

See b-side.org.uk for a full programme of events.

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