Graffham Festival looks to the future after successful showing

Jo Morris and Belinda Warken

Jo Morris and Belinda Warken

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Hundreds have flocked to Graffham’s summer arts celebration.

Spokeswoman Diana Bowden said: “Over the last two weeks, summer sun and awe-inspiring art attracted hundreds of visitors from across the South East to the tiny downland village of Graffham, for their second arts festival.

“A particular highlight was a soulful evening of acoustic music with Ben Pryer and special guest, Marley Blandford – who was using the Empire Hall as his warm-up act before launching his new EP in Portsmouth the next day. The two singer songwriters’ mix of cheeky charm, electrifying guitar music and emotional delivery makes both boys ones to watch for the future.

“Energy and emotions also ran high at the Joli Vyann and Midhurst Centre Stage Academy’s dance show, which brought the whole village together on a beautiful Friday evening at the recreation ground.

“Workshops with BBC arts reality TV stars Richard Davidson (painting) and Jo Morris (pottery) were also sell-out events, attracting prominent Sussex art teacher, Jenny Tyson from West Dean, and Belinda Warken from Midhurst Engineering amongst others. Following the success of Richard’s painting day, there is talk of setting up a local painting circle for like-minded artists of all abilities.

“As ever, the open studios art trail and open gardens proved a huge attraction – with the new park and ride service enabling more people than ever to make it round the whole trail.”

Festival organiser Jim Kirke said: “It’s been a frenetic but fabulous ten days celebrating local artistic talent in all its forms. The unique mix of exhibition events and participative workshops was a resounding hit – with people travelling from as far as Brighton and Twickenham to take part. Roll on next year…”

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