The East is a place full of stories and storytellers, and since 2015 they have descended on The Ship Inn, Blaxhall for the duration of a long summer weekend for the East Anglian Storytelling Festival. Suffolk storyteller Justine de Mierre explains the reason behind the festival:
“The unique thing about East Anglian storytelling, is that it’s fun and not precious; we have a tradition of irreverence; stories are borrowed, shared, adapted, annotated”.
This weekend of unpretentious storytelling features stories for adults, stories for families and folk music, all in and around The Ship Inn’s beautiful surroundings.
Moving Stories: Moving Mountains, a video installation produced by Pacitti Company and shown to the public over three evenings in July 2015, explored issues of disability and power through a series of performances to camera that were co-devised by the cast, in collaboration with director Robert Pacitti, camera-person Deveril, make-up artist Thom Shaw, and BSL interpreter Caroline Smith.
Pacitti Company pursues excellence in making, commissioning, curating and delivering high quality, original, interdisciplinary works of art and live events that are of value to the widest audiences possible. The Company has been making work since 1990, and moved to Ipswich in 2010.
Isolated on the pebbled beach of this Suffolk seaside town, the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout welcomes a new artist, poet, performer, musician or thinker each week.
Modern and Contemporary art dealer Caroline Wiseman first spotted the tower whilst taking her morning swim in the sea in 2010. Caroline set about acquiring the tower and has now transformed the Lookout into an international art destination.
Since its creation the Lookout has hosted some of the world’s most eminent artists including Peter Black RA, Eileen Cooper RA, Ryan Gander and Anthony Green RA.
Find out about planned and previous Lookout residencies at the Lookout website.
Discovered in May 2013 in a newly uncovered sediment layer on a beach in Happisburgh, the Happisburgh Footprints are the oldest hominin footprints discovered outside Africa, dating back to the Early Pleistocene – over 800,000 years ago.
The footprints are believed to be from a time when the British Isles was still connected to the rest of mainland Europe, allowing migrants to the land to travel on foot. Approximately 50 footprints were found in the area, belonging to an estimated five individuals.
Happisburgh forms part of the area known as Norfolk’s Deep History Coast, due to a number of pre-prehistoric discoveries that have been made in the area (including previous Culture365 item Sea Henge).
Works by John Golding – scholar, curator and artist – were gifted to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art in 2014, and it’s these that formed the starting point for 2015’s exhibition, Abstraction and the Art of John Golding.
Golding’s fascination with cubism grew during his years at the Courtauld Institute, where his doctoral dissertation focused on the form, and was followed by his seminal piece Cubism: A History and Analysis 1907-1914. He curated two Picasso exhibitions at The Tate, one of which – which also covered Matisse – travelled to MOMA in New York.
His own style was abstract, a form he felt should be “heavily imbued with meaning (and) with content” and influenced by his travels, especially as a child in Mexico, and his love of Renaissance painting.
For this last item in our focus on Southwold and Latitude to celebrate the festival’s tenth year, we come across W G Sebald’s critically acclaimed Rings of Saturn.
Described as “unremittingly miserable” (Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, January 2011) the book is based on a walk taken by Sebald over the course of several days, in and around this part of the Suffolk coast.
The book embellishes the walk with imaginative flourishes and some cold-water moments, leaping headlong into horrific world events like slavery and wartime mass murder.
Sebald’s work is generally acknowledged to have great influence on the development of fiction and factual writing. His oeuvre is comparatively limited: four complete books and a range of poems have been published, not much else.
Had Sebald not died suddenly and shockingly in a car accident just outside Norwich at the age of 57, he would undoubtedly have been creating an even richer legacy now.
In our celebration of Latitude – itself celebrating ten glorious years – we’re focusing on the little-known local singer-songwriter who in 2010 performed in the festival’s poetry tent.
The next year his single, The A Team, debuted in the UK charts at number three: and later that year his debut album + hit the top spot in the album charts in its first week of release. In 2011, Ed Sheeran was on the Latitude main stage. Since then, his career has continued to rise and his popularity has grown.
This is not a story of a meteoric rise: this is a story of talent, hard work and ambition. And through all this, Ed Sheeran has kept strong links with Suffolk, where he’s regularly seen in local pubs, performs occasional tiny gigs, donates to charity – and sometimes brings his equally famous friends (Taylor Swift caused quite a flurry).
Latitude welcomed him back in 2015 for two surprise sets, at the iArena on Friday and the Other Voices stage on Saturday.
This time last year, Pure Evil spent two days at Southwold Pier scaling up and down the scaffolding to slowly unveil his unique interpretation of the controversial English novelist, journalist, critic and sometime Southwolder George Orwell.
Pure Evil (Charlie Uzzel-Edwards) is one of the key British artists of the booming international street art scene and his residency at Southwold Pier was a much anticipated and exciting attraction.
Through the Magnifying Glass was the first part of the New Wolsey Theatre‘s Moving Stories project and was shown throughout July 2015.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, Through the Magnifying Glass weaves together the serious, surreal and downright silly, as journeys and experience inspire a powerful multisensory performance. The work was created by Unscene Suffolk, a community company of adults with visual impairment, whose performances are accessible to blind and sighted audiences.
Moving Stories examined the notions of belonging as a Deaf or disabled person with the wider community. Throughout July 2015, New Wolsey Theatre, Unscene Suffolk, Gecko, DanceEast and Pacitti Company all used their trademark styles and forms to ensure the voices, stories and talents of those often ignored or marginalised were placed centre stage.
For information about what’s on at the moment, visit the New Wolsey Theatre’s website.
Want to combine a trip to the theatre with an exploration of the rest of Suffolk’s county town? Plan your Ipswich visit at Visit Suffolk.
Almost synonymous with the entire festival, the Latitude Sheep proudly roam near the main arena entrance. Now a popular (and essential) photo stop for any Latitude attendee, the sheep have been at the festival since the very first edition, back in 2006.
Back in April 2015 the sheep travelled all the way to London for the announcement of the festival’s extensive theatre and arts line-up.
Latitude Festival takes place at Henham Park, Suffolk every year in July – explore this year’s programme here.
Explore other parts of Suffolk (without multicoloured sheep), and plan a trip at Visit Suffolk.