Art in medieval churches on salt marshes, giant steamroller printing and naked ambitions

I love this time of year and last Sunday I enjoyed a glorious drive in the autumn sunshine from Canterbury, along the old roman road (B2068), to Hythe, en route to Romney Marsh. It’s probably one of my favourite routes in Kent with stunning views across the North Downs.landscape 2013

I was  visiting All Saint’s Church in Burmarsh, one of six medieval churches hosting contemporary art for the annual Art in Romney Marsh festival. This year sixteen artists have been invited to make site specific work and there’s still two more week-ends left to visit in October. If you’re feeling energetic you can catch a steam train with your bike from Hythe, get off at St Mary’s Bay and then cycle to the churches which are scattered across the saltmarsh landscape.

This week-end (5/6 October) sees the start of Pushing Print featuring the work of almost one hundred local and international artists across two venues in Margate’s Old Town. Over three weeks there’s a chance to get involved in a variety of creative workshops including extreme mono printing on Saturday (5 Oct) where giant prints will be made using a steamroller.  I went last year and it was really enjoyable. This Saturday  Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature opens at Turner Contemporary and on Sunday you can also enjoy creating your own paintings from 1-4 pm. Walk up the hill from the gallery and you can see how artist Alex Chinneck  has transformed a house at Godwin Road in Cliftonville to make it appear as if it’s sliding into the street. If you’re in Cliftonville on Saturday there’s also an open studio event  where you can try screen printing at the Hello Print Studio in the Resort Studios building at 50 Athelstan Road.

From Cliftonville you can catch the Loop bus  and travel to Broadstairs for the Food Festival (4-6 Oct.) As well as over 100 suppliers selling mainly Kent produce there’s an art workshop on Sunday for 5-12 year olds.

This month I’ve returned to the Cornerhouse in Minster and enjoyed their 2 courses for £10 lunch menuI chose to share my brown bread ice cream dessert. Don’t make the same mistake. It’s divine!  I’ve also eaten at the newly opened Quex Barn restaurant at 11-12 Burgate in Canterbury. Even though it had only been open for a week the service was friendly and efficient and they too offer a £10 lunch menu, with enormous portions, from a locally sourced menu. 

If you’re visiting Canterbury the only festival of animation in south east England, Anifest, is on until 5th October with workshops, films and an exhibition in the Front Room at the Beaney. There’s an opportunity for your Beaney inspired drawing to be included in an animation too.

I’ve drawn life model Sharon Smithers countless times and she has organised a day of life drawing under the title of Naked Ambitions at the Horsebridge Arts Centre in Whitstable on 27th October. This untutored session brings the opportunity to draw ten professional life models for just £25. To book contact Sharon.  The Horsebridge is also hosting its first short film festival and the closing date for entries is 15 October. 

I’m hoping I’ll be able to see some of the events at the first Rochester Literature Festival (3-13th October) and I’ll be at the Dance for Peace, the annual fundraiser for Whitstable based Trust Sulha, at the Whitstable Playhouse on 12th October. 

To help you find out about the latest creative happenings taking place in Kent’s coastal towns and beyond I’ve started a virtual tweetup on Twitter every Monday evening from 7-8pm. To join in follow me @escapetocreate and use the hashtag #createinkent 

If you aren’t already on Twitter or you’d like to know how to use it for your work you might be interested in coming along to one of my workshops. The next one is on Tuesday 8th October at the Horsebridge Arts & Community Centre in Whitstable.

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