Local venues to bring national craft festival to South West

Plymouth City Council, Plymouth College of Art and Mount Edgcumbe are joining forces to bring a national festival of contemporary craft to Plymouth this autumn.

‘Acts of Making’ is a two-week festival produced by the Crafts Council that celebrates contemporary craft through performances, live installations and workshops.

Supported by Arts Council England and Plymouth Culture, it will run from 12 to 26 September, putting craft in unexpected spaces and allowing the public to interact and collaborate with six internationally exhibited artists. 

Visitors will be able to witness the creation of a patterned carpet made entirely from dust (‘Unfurling Splendour’ by Catherine Bertola) and create their own music via logs and wooden horns (‘Photosynthonium’ by Owl Project).

They will also get the chance to watch a procession of Vespa and Lambretta scooters (‘Tree and Scooters’ by Richard William Wheater) and become part of an ongoing project exploring our relationship with jewellery (‘Meanings and Attachments’ by Mah Rana).

The festival also includes performance pieces using 500 unfired ceramic pots (‘Is It Madness. Is It Beauty.’ by Clare Twomey) as well as skateboarders sculpting stone benches with their boards (‘Tombstone (let’s get over this)’ by Keith Harrison). 

The performances and installations will be located across the City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth College of Art and Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park. Public events and workshops will also take place in locations such as the Central Library, Plymstock Library, PRIME Skate Park, the Hoe and the Waterfront.

“Acts of Making presents work outside traditional gallery spaces to challenge people’s perceptions of what craft is,” said Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council. “We hope lots of people in Plymouth, South East Cornwall and beyond will enjoy getting involved as there will be a wide range of events and activities taking place. We also want people to share what they see and experience on social media using #ActsofMaking.”

Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “This is the first time our arts and heritage service, Plymouth College of Art and Mount Edgcumbe have collaborated in this way and we’re really excited about working in partnership with the Crafts Council to bring Acts of Making to the region.

“The festival is part of a number of high profile events that will be taking place in the area this autumn including exhibitions, conferences and an Arts Weekender. Everything is coming together to form an exciting season of craft and contemporary art that will really highlight what Plymouth is capable of achieving.”

The full programme for Acts of Making will be confirmed soon on the Crafts Council website.