Wirksworth Festival round-up

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Every September Wirksworth comes alive with contemporary visual arts and crafts, street theatre, music and film for a festival which is now in its 22nd year.

The highlight of the event, from September 8-24, is the Art and Architecture Trail held over the launch weekend which this year will showcase the work of more than 150 artists in private homes from lead miners’ cottages to fine Georgian town houses, together with historic buildings, gardens, courtyards, shop windows and churches.

Visitors will also be able to see work by artists which has been brought together for The Curated Exhibition, and a hand-picked selection of work by some of the region’s finest graduates.

The Curated Exhibition of well-known and up-and-coming artists forms the centrepiece of the Trail in the Parish Room and St Mary’s Church. This year it has been put together by Louisa Chambers and Dr Emily Strange, artists and researchers from Nottingham Trent University.

Together they have created Veneer, an exhibition that brings together a group of diverse artists from around the country whose practice plays with themes of domesticity, display and concealment, and architectural space.

Alongside Louisa and Emily will be artists Craig Fisher, Conor Hurford, Demi Levi, Tessa Lynch, Laura McCafferty, Zoe Mendelson, David Penny, Gabriel Tejada and Ian Whitfield.

This year the performance programme kicks off with music from a pair of sparky young singer songwriters Hannah James and Grace Petrie on September 12,  and sees the return of Manchester-based band Kabantu on September 14.

Celebrated reggae artist Macka B, following on from Wirksworth’s own ska/two-tone band Skarambe, will be performing at the end of the festival on September 23.

Derbyshire-based storytelling company Adverse Camber return to the festival with a Celtic legend – Dreaming the Night Field – which features one of Wales’ most engaging storytellers alongside exquisitely haunting live music. English and Welsh are artfully woven together to make these ancient voices and living landscapes come alive in an exhilarating performance.

The festival will also see the launch of the Wirksworth Youth Theatre at a workshop to which all young people are welcome.

For full details, including dates and ticket prices, go to http://www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk