Hazel Keelan and Nicky Saunter, artists and friends, host this week of events at Babylon Gallery, Ely.

Ely Arts Festival

We live in interesting times – Plague, War and Calamity are upon us, but so too are Shared Purpose and Hope. Well, we say, bring it on! Come join our week of co-curated art, music, conversation, reading and thinking at Babylon Gallery in Ely to create a literal Pandora’s Box. Respond actively to today’s complexities and have some fun in the process.

The ancient story of Pandora’s Box tells of a woman who opens a vessel she has been told not to and releases untold evils into the world. But the box was actually a storage jar. Some versions say it was her husband who opened it; others say a passing god. Hope was the only thing left inside.

So many global challenges have been released into our world in the last few years. Our menu of co-created events is to encourage response and reaction, from poetry readings and music recitals, to sewing, sketching and singing. Be brave, open your hearts and bring your friends!

Schedule of Events:

Tuesday 21st June

12pm to 4pm. Exhibition & Drop-in Activity – Making Pandora’s Box

6pm to 8pm. Kitchen Crisis Conversations. This is a bookable event Click here to find out more

Wednesday 22nd June

12pm to 1pm. Drop in Talk: Refugee Art, Hope and Transformation – an exploration of art and its power to transform through the eyes of two very famous refugees, Madame Tussaud and Maria von Trapp by Michelle Moran Kushwaha www.michellemoran.com

12pm to 4pm. Drop-in Music and Art Afternoon with Hazel Keelan: Creativity in a time of Chaos: Dip into a free-flowing afternoon of community art and solo violin music. During the covid lockdown, Hazel Keelan gave herself a goal of extending her skills on the violin by tackling some of the most difficult repertoire written by JS Bach. Hazel will be practicing/performing some of these pieces in an informal experiment in demonstrating and interacting with others as a way of informing personal practice. She would love to engage with anyone who took on any creative challenge of their own during lockdown. Hazel hopes that anyone dropping by, will also be interested in co-creating an Ely-inspired ‘Tree of Hands’ in the gallery as a homage to the very real need for contact with and appreciation of, the natural world around us for stability in troubled times. www.runningmusician.com

7.30pm to 9pm. Fenspeak. Our regular open mic poetry night, including Pandora’s Box artist – Nicky Saunter. Donations on the Door. Bar. Find out more here!

Thursday 23rd June

12pm to 4pm: Exhibition continues with drop-in mask making.

Friday 24th June

12pm to 4pm: Exhibition continues with ‘Repair and Craftivism’: Join our mini repair shop initiative! Bring in your old clothes or that pile of mending that never gets done and let’s get it finished together! We will have an old fashioned hand cranked sewing machine, some of our specially made patches of hope and lots of good ideas and enthusiasm for upcycling, repair and reuse for those old jeans with the holes! Bring any simple sewing materials you’d like to use.

6pm to 8pm: Concert D’un Rêve Lucide – A world premiere on your doorstep! More info here.

Saturday 25th June

10am to 11.30am. Grrls Rock Workshop: A short workshop with musician Emma Kupa, for girls, non-binary and trans young people aged 12 to 18. During Pride month, we are delighted to welcome musician Emma Kupa back to Babylon Arts to run a free introduction to songwriting and guitar, for young women and non-binary and trans young people. Join Emma in a private informal taster session and have a go at something new! Emma learned the guitar as a teenager and has played in bands ever since. She is currently a member of Cambridge based indie-pop trio Mammoth Penguins and also releases music under her solo moniker Emma Kupa. With 20 years’ experience writing and recording music, Emma has toured across Europe and the USA, playing intimate gigs and large festivals such as Latitude. Musicians need to bring their own headphones. FREE. Places limited. To book call 01353 616991.

12pm to 4pm: Exhibition continues with ‘Repair and Craftivism’ (see Friday)

Sunday 26th June

12pm to 1pm. Drop-in talk on ‘Outsider Art’ by Hazel Keelan.

12pm to 4pm: Exhibition continues with ‘Repair and Craftivism’ (see Friday)

More details HERE

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