Reasons to be Greenbelt Part. 3

So I’ve been at Greenbelt once again, the annual festival that takes place on Cheltenham racecourse once a year. It’s always a joy to take part.

This year has been busier than ever. Once again I’ve been helping set up the Visual Arts, and producing various bits of social media along the way.

I arrived in the pouring rain – a flash downpour that drenched me in about 10 seconds flat the minute I stepped off the bus. In order to combat my damp spirits, I used the time before our venue was opened to record a quick Audioboo. I took the Ian Dury song “Reasons to be Cheerful Pt. 3” and turned it into “Reasons to Be Greenbelt Pt. 3”. Just opening up the programme and randomly fitting in various things from it was an easy gag (it kind of writes itself) but it was a lot of fun finding a quiet space and tapping out the rhythm myself. have a listen.

Reasons to be Greenbelt Pt. 3 #gb11 (mp3)

Thursday & Friday were quickly spent building one of the gallery spaces called “Angels of the North” – a lovely little show curated by Carla Moss.

As always, it’s a privilege to get to know the artists, and this year I quickly made friends with Phill Hopkins. His work is a mixture of sculpture and frame charcoal drawings. I was really struck by the deft-ness of the drawings, and their impact is heightened by the subject matter.

In the room next to the Angels of the North show is The Methodist Art Collection. It’s pretty huge and there are some amazing works in there, including Roualt and Craigie Aitchison. I helped hang the collection some 18 years ago when it was first rescued from a basement by Meryl Doney – the Methodists didn’t quite know what a treasure trove they were sitting on (“Is this stuff of any interest?”), and Meryl being Meryl was good enough not to go “Err… not really…” and run off with them. (Well, I would have…!)

The Methodists have started collecting works again now anyway, and the collection is burgeoning. Here’s a chat I had with one of the trustees:

Friday Night, the show was finally up and open, and after consuming much wine with Grace, Derek and Simon I went back to my tent feeling palpably knackered:

Last night we ran a thing called Pecha Kucha. I’ve never heard of it before, but it’s one of those simple ideas that works really well. It’s essentially a form of presentation. You can show 20 slides (with no text), but you’ve only got 20 seconds to speak in front of each one. And someone else is changing the slides for you, so there’s no cheating. Quite a task for some people! The format is astonishingly clever, and each talk was spellbinding. I manage to grab a couple of them live. Not great quality but good enough for you to follow:

So here I am on Sunday morning. There’s another Pecha Kucha tonight, and I might get some more. Tonight’s feature @solobassteve and @artistsmakersDan was the guy responsible for setting up the #riotcleanup hashtag in the wake of the national riots that happened recently, so that promises to be a corker.

See you there.

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One Response to Reasons to be Greenbelt Part. 3

  1. Carole says:

    I love your ‘Reasons to be Greenbelt’ …you pretty much summed it up there! 🙂

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