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The 2008
Appledore Visual Arts Festival

  Download 2008 festival programme

The theme for the 2008 Appledore Visual Arts Festival (Thursday May 29th – Sunday June 1st) was ‘Earth’. Appledore is a beautiful estuary town with a maze of narrow winding streets and expansive views across the river and out towards the Atlantic Ocean. The Festival was a contemporary celebration of how we are all inspired and affected by our relationship with the Earth.

  Sandy Brown throwing at the wheel

Satish Kumar, Director of Resurgence states that “The Earth has inspired great art for centuries. It is a wonderful, natural muse. As the earth inspires us, so too must we be inspired to preserve and protect it. It is great news that the Festival has chosen Earth as its theme for 2008, we are particularly delighted to be associated with this year’s events.”



The Festival was the first annual Visual Arts Festival of its kind in the UK. Today it has a reputation as one of the broadest ranging events of its type. Visitors are offered a unique opportunity to interact with artists as they take part in a wide range of residencies, demonstrations, workshops, talks and art-creation events.

  Peter Randall-Page and Chris Chapman Granite-Song
National Trust Dry Stone Wall  

Events include an extensive programme of workshops. Adults, children and families can sign up to take part in a multitude of Advance Booking workshops including; film animation, a play-in-a-day and painting with earth. During the Festival there will be many, many free Drop-In workshops, whole families can join in and create a giant scrap planet, experiment painting with natural earth pigments, or help the National Trust build a dry stone wall !


Participating artists include several internationally renowned artists who are inspired by Devon’s beautiful and elemental landscape. Peter Randall-Page will be present, talking about Granite Song, a collaborative project with the photographer Chris Chapman which celebrates their local mid-Devon landscape.

An associate of Peter, stone sculptor David Brampton-Greene will be carving stone on site. David worked extensively on the Seed, Peter’s massive sculpture now installed at the Eden Project.

  David Brampton Green Peter Randall Page Seed
Svend Bayer's big pots  

Well known cob artists, Jill Abey and Jackie Smallcombe will be creating a curvaceous wall sculpture. They will be working with earth and its multitude of colours including reds, yellows, ochres and browns. If you come you will be able to join in and work alongside them !

Svend Bayer, an internationally known potter will also be present. He works with clay, another material taken directly from the earth. By combining his practical skills and artistic abilities he creates beautiful big full-bellied pots.


Bideford Black is a rare pigment found in an underground seam running through North Devon. The highly popular landscape painter Paul Lewin, will run a two day Masterclass where participants will have the unique opportunity to work directly with this unusual pigment which was once used as eye liner !

  Paul Lewin Bideford Bay using Bideford Balck, Burton Art Gallery(detail)
Abey & Smallcombe Devon Guild Seat &  Mythic Garden Chagford  

Alongside all these inspiring artists and workshops we will be screening a programme of Film Shorts. Categories include films from young people, films about the theme of ‘Earth’ as well as a wide ranging open category. During 2007 Appledore Arts managed the production of a highly acclaimed film based oral history project on Appledore’s fascinating maritime history, this will also be screened during the Festival.


The Festival also offered visitors the opportunity to explore this unique and historic village. There were Open Gardens, Decorated Doorknockers and for the first time an Artists Trail where selected artists displayed their work in the homes of Appledore residents.

To celebrate the end of the Festival, there was a grand finale on Sunday afternoon. African dancers, accompanied by a samba band and carnival art created during the Festival  paraded through the picturesque and winding streets of Appledore.

  Samba on the Quay

All over Appledore there were things happening. People came along, got creative and enjoyed the fun of the Festival. There were a wide variety of workshops that people could join, such as ‘Making an Artists Book’ with the charismatic Eleanor Glove and an interesting new project in partnership with Dance in Devon in which a Visual and a Dance Artist collaborated. There was also live music, Craft Stalls and lots, lots more.

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