We are Bedford has many voices. This is a guest post from one of the exhibiting photographers and local resident Tony Somervell.
It all started, in my case, with an article in the Beds on Sunday (30th January 2011); “A chance comment on Facebook results in a new arts festval”.
The title caught my eye and the article inspired me, as here were two “young mums” (at 39 and 31 I think they liked that!) who were in the process of ‘gestating’ a new baby. They had sprung across an idea, initially “quite a flippant comment on Facebook” which soon developed into a a brilliant project to create an arts festival to transform the very grey, empty shops and as yet not very well known “cultural quarter” of Bedford.
I live just 5 minutes from the Castle Quay ‘complex’ and was immediately attracted to participate in the project. How wonderful to unite artists, musicians and anyone else, in a weekend event to display our work, show the public the wealth of local culture and have lots of fun together.
Soon the prospect of displaying work excited me and along with about 30 others, we ‘invaded’ the Riverside Grill one evening for an Information evening, eager to find out more details and sign up. There was a real buzz about the meeting; here we were, soon to ‘occupy’ some empty shop spaces with colour and life; it felt a bit like the birth of a new political movement to change the world!
Meanwhile the comments and excitement continued on the Facebook page with photos posted of the shops where the artwork is to be displayed, and daily news of developments spawned more excitement. As I write, enthusiasm continues to rise as new ideas are suggested, offers to do this and that are posted, and the whole thing just ‘snowballs’ on! Just the other day Kayte posted: “hi all – there are a number of people who have emailed me and haven’t heard back – i haven’t received your emails. i think the volume of emails i am receiving is jamming my email server.” Or maybe her computer has gone into ‘overload’ with all the hours you’ve been on it!
So those who are displaying their art work (or canvas print photos as in my case, at the Swan Hotel) playing their music (I can’t wait to hear the buskers!) or acting their hearts out, this is such an exciting opportunity to join together and ‘create’. With so much bad news going on, both locally and globally, here is an expression of a group of enthusiastic, “young” people, all buzzing to share their work and produce together a veritable kaleidoscope of creativity which will show Bedford and the whole area what we can do. We should send Town Criers to Milton Keynes, Luton and Dunstable, there’s another fun idea!
“Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Bedford Castle Quay Weekender coming SOON, Don’t miss the art, the music, the fun. Scores of paintings, hours of music, buckets of FUN! Get to Bedford, March 19th and 20th! Castle Quay Weekender, you’ll never forget this weekend!”
Tony Somervell is an amateur freelance photographer who is displaying some of his work at the Swan Hotel over the Castle Quay Weekender. He set up Castle Photo Graphics early 2009 and specializes in Canvas Prints. He created Fab Fotos via Facebook where nearly 900 people currently show their eagerness to share their passion for photography, receiving feedback on their photos and learning how to take better photos.