Sunday, September 24, 2023

Hundreds Attend Successful Arts Trail

Artist Susan Bedford at WorkVisitors were treated to a feast of creativity this bank holiday weekend, as they followed their maps around the streets of Belper to experience this year’s Arts Trail.

Now in its third year, the month-long Arts Festival is going from strength to strength. This weekend, the festival got off to a momentous start with the Arts Trail taking in much of the town centre across a wide variety of locations.

Tickets priced at £3 got you into all of the venues, and provided you with a sumptuous brochure.

George Gunby selling tickets for the Arts Trail

With over a hundred artists and 48 venues, those in attendance were spoilt for choice. Talented local creatives, as well as artists from all around the country showed off an eclectic mix of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, installations, cake design, crafts, pottery/ceramics and jewellery as well as offering workshops.



Ambergate-based Liz Tatam had a display of hand-made pottery made from stoneware clay.

Children were treated once again to Captain Dan and his crew of pirates who led a children’s trail to find missing treasure, whilst Nancy and Sue brought the Gruffalo and other stories to life in the Memorial Gardens.

Captain Dan and his Crew!

Live music also took place with artists playing at ‘Busk Stops’ at de Bradelei Mill, The Lion Hotel and the Memorial Gardens.

There was street entertainment, heritage walks and food and drink available with the Memorial Gardens acting as a focal point for the two days.

Aptly, St John’s Chapel was host to ceramic artist Marion Stuart who had created an original installation of porcelain paper clay nails in the style of those the town used to manufacture before the rise of the cotton industry. The 650 nails represented the nail makers at the height of the industry in Belper in 1846, with each one being engraved with names from the community past and present.

Marion Stuart: '650'
Marion Stuart: ‘650’

Beaurepaire Photography Club also hosted their exhibition in the chapel. Photography was well represented across the town, demonstrating the variety possible in this art form. There were Natasha Braithwaite’s black & white images, created using traditional dark room techniques, and Sara Gaynor’s atmospheric Fine Art and Environmental Photography.

On Long Row, Sarah Stanton Longdon displayed unusual images of East Mill as reflected in water and vivid photographs of woodland near Milford.

Take a closer look at our gallery of images above to see some of the highlights from the Trail.

For more information about Belper Arts Festival visit the website at:

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