• Binsted Arts Festival 2017

      The 2017 Binsted Arts Festival ran from Thursday 8 June to Sunday 11 June.   

      The overall theme was a 'Harvest' of rural life in Sussex, and celebrating the Binsted countryside.  Located here.

      Binsted Arts Festival June 8-11, 2017

      For the second year running Binsted was buzzing in June, not just with bees, but with comings and goings, walks and talks, music and merriment, stories and singing, and the repeated hum of approval from audience after audience as the village hosted its four day long Arts Festival. This was designed to offer a variety of ways the creative arts can celebrate the countryside and in particular this corner of Sussex.

      Three events stand out for me, and illustrate the variety and range of the Festival.

      The first was the Archaeology Walk, led by Dr Matthew Pope on a sunny blustery day. He talked with engaging enthusiasm, explaining how the geology of Binsted, with its deep valley (the Binsted Rife) below the chalk Downs developed over millions of years, to provide the bed-rock of today’s landscape. He showed us various features created by humans from the Iron Age onwards, including the impressive earthwork that runs north/south through the woods, and a raised area in a field nearby, thought to be an early medieval moot mound or meeting place (as explained in Walberton Parish News late last year).

      The second, the story-telling event, was also a revelation. Story-telling has a long tradition, not something recently discovered to keep children quiet. Michael O’Leary is clearly a master of his profession, able to keep a group of adults of all ages, with two imported 6 year olds, enthralled as he unfolded a new story about the Binsted Knucker hole (a very deep, spring-fed pool and a truly magical place). We also gathered by the new Waymarker sculpture for another story, hanging on his every word as the tale twisted and turned.

      The third event which has left music and words in my head was the Binsted Laudate, a church service devised by Bishop Michael Langrish, not following a standard form of a particular service, instead a series of readings, interspersed by hymns, a sung psalm and two motets of ethereal beauty by Palestrina and Guerrero performed by a consort of viols and voices, with Rev. Tim Ward officiating. The final hymn, sung to the key theme of Sibelius’ Finlandia, moved us out into the wide world, to celebrate the blue skies of all nations and the possibility of peace despite differences between us. The only sadness was that Emma Tristram, co-organiser of the Festival, who had been particularly involved with the musical side of the Laudate, was ill in hospital and could not be there.

      Other events illustrated here are the talk on nursery rhymes, and the tree ornament making and print making workshops (details below in the program).  

      We were well supported by an audience from Walberton and Binsted, and from further afield. We’d love to hear from individuals about what they enjoyed most, and any ideas that people would like to see developed for future years.

      Camilla Lambert   Chair, Binsted Arts.



      Thursday  8 June

      Led  by Mike Copley
      Forge Gallery,  Walberton,  10.30 am - 12.30 pm    £10.00    Click here for more information

      with  musical  illustrations - 'Nursery Notions: The Illustration,  Music and History of Nursery Rhymes'. By Jeremy  Barlow, music historian and leader of the Broadside  Band, and former resident in Binsted.  
      Binsted  Church,  2 -  3.30  pm   £5.00    Click here for more information


      'Sussex Traditions: A Window on the Old Ways'  

      [Chris Hare's closely related 'Secret Shore' talk has been cancelled due to family circumstances]

      Project Manager Mark Broad and volunteers from new charity 'Sussex Traditions', two of whose Trustees come from Binsted, will talk about and show the archive of traditional songs, stories, crafts and customs connected with Sussex, which they are gathering and making available via www.sussextraditions.org  

      Binsted Church, 7.30 - 9 pm    £5.00     Click here for more information

      Friday  9 June

      Led  by David Peduzzi
      Stable  Cottage,  Binsted,  10.30 am - 12.30 pm    £10.00    Click here for more information

      'Archaeology and Binsted 's past '  
      By Dr Matt Pope of University College London,
       and Dr Emma Tristram of Binsted who discovered the moot mound in 2016.  
      Starting from Binsted  Church,  2.00 - 3.30 pm  £5.00    Click here for more information

      'History, Wildlife & Conservation on the Slindon Estate'
      By  National  Trust wardens Katie Archer and Bob Epsom.  
      Binsted Church, 7.30 - 9 pm    £5.00     Click here for more information

      Saturday  10 June

      'The Legend of  Binsted',  specially created stories for adults and older children.
      By storyteller Michael O'Leary
      Binsted Church,  10.30 - 12.00 pm   £5.00   Click here for more information

      'The Village', a sequence of songs, music and words
      By  traditional  folk  musicians Cotillion.  
      Binsted Church, 3 - 4.30 pm  £5.00   Click here for more information

      Prize-giving for the poetry competition (theme of 'Harvest' ) and readings by Clare Best, competition judge, and James Simpson, Sussex writer and poet of the natural world.  

      Binsted Church,  7.30 - 9 pm   Free  event   Click here for more information

      Sunday 11 June

      Creating  'tree  ornaments' from  wire,  found natural objects, paper and glue.  
      Led by Janine Creaye.
      Stable  Cottage,  Binsted,  10.30 am -  12.30 pm  £10.00   Click here for more information

      A spiritual celebration of arts and the countryside with music, hymns and readings, in the Christian tradition in our nine-centuries-old church
      Led by Walberton resident and 2016 Binsted Arts Festival Commended poet, Bishop Michael Langrish.
      Binsted  Church, 4 - 5.15 pm  Free event   Click here for more information

      Traditional folksongs evening.   Join in or listen, word sheets supplied.  
      Led by Binsted's Mike Tristram and Tony Elphick with Sussex Traditions friends, singers and players. 
      The Black Horse, Binsted, 6.30 - 8.30pm  Free event .  Bar but no kitchen on this occasion.   
      Click here for more information

      By Priscilla Ritchie at the Forge Gallery, 29 April to 7 May & 8 - 18 June, Free.
      Click here for more information.  

      Click here to download the full program

      The Arts Committee would be happy to hear your thoughts and if you would like to contribute in any way, for example:

      Would you like to contribute Art, Performance or Writing, or just be kept informed?

      If you have ideas which might feature in one of our festivals or future publications, please Email Emma Tristram (Binsted Arts committee member).  For example:

      • Do you know of old or new paintings of a building or view in Binsted?  
      • Have you written about Binsted, poetry or prose? 

      If you have not received newsletters about the Festival before, please let us know your email address so we can keep in touch about the Arts Festival and any other Binsted Arts events.