Last Saturday (October 1st) saw intrigued visitors exploring Belper’s first Fun Palace at Number 28, the Market Place.
Fun Palaces are described as both an ongoing campaign for culture by, for and with all, and also an annual weekend of events, where arts and sciences are a vital catalyst for community engagement and full participation for everyone, from the grassroots up. The ethos of the events are “in everyone an artist and everyone a scientist.”
The science part was delivered by the Derbyshire branch of the British Science Association, who were there to conduct science fun and experiments for visitors. They explored light and spectrums and had a spectroscope and USB microscope on hand to try out. Dozens were also given the opportunity to practise their CPR skills and see how a defibrillator works with help from the Amber Community First Responders team.
Nansy Ferrett, local artist and singer in Belper Trio Red Ruff, taught scores of people throughout the day how to make their own song birds out of craft materials, lyrics and recycled products. Elsewhere there was glass paining, hundreds of pipe cleaner creations and gift tags being made
Organiser, and local yarn bomber, Anne Clark was thrilled at the popularity of the event saying: “It had a lovely atmosphere and a real community feeling.It had a lovely atmosphere and a real community feeling.”
Derbyshire based artist Tan Draig, who recently created a huge installation in the Strutt’s North Mill by wrapping a 10,000 metres of thread around the basement, was on hand to help create a giant string vest. The ‘human knitting machine,’ made up of visitors to the Fun Palace, aimed to make the biggest string vest in the world.
Those that missed out will be able to see the finished garment displayed at No28’s BELPER IN BLOOMERS exhibition: free launch party Sat 22 Oct 6.30pm (everyone welcome; dress: imaginative) and all day exhibition and café Sun 23 Oct 10-4pm.