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Art Eat, new Ipswich Waterfront festival mixes art and food to bring people together

PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 10 September 2019

Festival organisers Iona Hodgson and Daisy Lees. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Festival organisers Iona Hodgson and Daisy Lees. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

A new arts festival looks set to make Ipswich Waterfront the community hub of the town.

Supporters of the event were given a tour of the murials which have been created for the event. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGESupporters of the event were given a tour of the murials which have been created for the event. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

The organisers of Art Eat launched their brand new free community event outside the Old Customs House by the old Wet Dock and promised a weekend full of music, a wide range of street food from around the world and some dazzling art to engage with - both large and small.

Art Eat is the brain child of Iona Hodgson and Daisy Lees who wanted to create a community festival that brought all sections of the town together for a big celebration.

Iona said: "It has taken two years of planning to get the festival up and running.

"It's been hard work but we are very excited that its ready to go out into the world and help people have some fun and enjoy one another's company.

Jane Riley, the deputy mayor of Ipswich, cut the ribbon at the launch of the event. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEJane Riley, the deputy mayor of Ipswich, cut the ribbon at the launch of the event. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

"We wanted to do something that celebrated community. We wanted to create an art festival with a difference. We didn't want to showcase largescale works by big name artists that no-one could afford instead we wanted to provide a platform for local artists and provide for them an opportunity to meet the public."

Daisy added that the large scale work is provided by a series of murals which showcase different elements of the town, its history or modern living.

These were created by artists working with community volunteers or charities. One of the most spectacular is a mural of a shark surrounded with colour words and phrases which is designed to showcase the dangers of taking out loans with loan sharks. This work was designed and created by inmates of a Suffolk prison as part of a rehabilitation programme.

Daisy said: "We wanted to create an event where people met and mixed and shared an experience. That's why we added the food element because eating has always been a communal experience as has listening to live music. We wanted to show case art in a live festival environment.

The event takes place on the weekend of September 21 and 22. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEThe event takes place on the weekend of September 21 and 22. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

"This festival is a gift to Ipswich, and we hope to run the festival every two years, and generate a buzz around how fabulous this wonderful town is."

There will be music, street food and even a fun fair spread across the Ipswich waterfront from DanceEast, past the University of Suffolk to the Aurora bar and restaurant off Helena Road.

The attractions will be listed in a special map and programme available on the day and will be located in colour-coded zones.

Highlights of the festival's music programme include locally based international artists performing at Global Village as well as live sets from local music-makers and wordsmiths such as A.N.G, Get on the Soapbox, Slow King, Darien Prophecy, Anna Mudeka, Ragged String Band, Piers the Poet, Nqobile

One of the murials on display was created by prisoners. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEOne of the murials on display was created by prisoners. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Khoza and DJ sessions from Susanita (IO Radio), Tallulah Goodtimes, Skippa J (Missile Sound), Bopper Ranking (Freedom Sounds), and Daniel Lee Harvey.

Music workshops include Chinese drums from ACCE, Wooden Roots African drums, Big Sing, Suffolk Soul Singers, Group A from Snape and Ipswich Reggae Choir.

Celebrated contemporary figurative sculptor John O'Connor will be staging a major exhibition at the DanceHouse, which will showcase his stunning bronze work depicting 'states of mind that are inherent in us all'. John exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show every year and works with some of the country's best garden designers, as well as selling his work to private collectors.

In collaboration with Suffolk's own Outrageous Cake Company, Art Eat will also host a Cake Art Competition open to all Ipswich residents which will be held at Quay Place on Saturday September 21.

Artist EVEWRIGHT explaining the thinking behind the Stop Loan Sharks mural. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEArtist EVEWRIGHT explaining the thinking behind the Stop Loan Sharks mural. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

This unique and fun display of Ipswich's very own 'Cake Art" will be open to the public from 10am - 3.30pm. Judging starts at 3pm at Quay Place.

Watch out from 4pm as there will be a Cake Art Procession along the Waterfront starting outside Dance East and finishing at Cult Cafe at approximately 4.30pm when there will be a grand finale of Let Them Eat Cake.

As part of this event on Saturday only, Norfolk based Cookie Kitchen will be offering novelty gingerbread decoration workshops for all ages from 10.30am - 2.30pm at Quay Place in Key St behind the DanceHouse.

Over the festival weekend there will be a two-day Art, Print and Craft Fair in the University of Suffolk, featuring 50 artists from London as well as those from Suffolk and Norfolk.

Launch of the Art Eat Festival at Ipswich Waterfront. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGELaunch of the Art Eat Festival at Ipswich Waterfront. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Iona added: "There will be over 20 free participatory art and music workshops happening over festival weekend as well as a fun fair, outdoor bars, 35 delicious street-food traders and a weekend guaranteed to be full of smiles and wonder."

Art Eat runs from September 21-22.

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