Press Rrelease February 2011

Art in Action Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 July 2011

Every July over 4 days, 25,000 visitors flock to see over 400 artists, craftsmen, performers, musicians, teachers and lecturers come together in the grounds of Waterperry House, Oxfordshire to demonstrate their skills and love of art. Visitors can observe artists creating sculpture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics and more. They can listen to live music, watch performing arts from around the world, hear lecturers expound on their chosen subject and learn from the teachers in the hugely popular practical classes.

Artists are housed in marquees by discipline: painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, calligraphy, illustration, glass, metalwork, jewellery, nature in art, textiles, woodwork, and for the second year, international art. As the festival champions art in many disciplines and forms, visitors can see everything from the traditional to the contemporary.

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Highlights include:
- Chapungu Sculpture Park who are exhibiting work in Waterperry Gardens for a year from April 2011. Tours of the sculptures entitled ‘Embracing the Spirit Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe’ will be conducted by Chapungu’s founder Roy Guthrie during Art in Action and visitors can also see master sculptors from Zimbabwe demonstrating their stonework
- Paul Floyd in the glass marquee will demonstrate the art of stained glass in a creative and contemporary way. Paul is strongly influenced by the natural environment, and a respectful fascination of the nature of the material and its relationship with light leads him to explore innovative ways to create a great array of textures and forms
- Barbara Jackson, a painter and printmaker, will demonstrate her etchings and aquatints in the printmaking marquee. Barbara has exhibited 3 times at the RA Summer Exhibition, held 2 successful solo exhibitions and is a member of the Southbank Printmakers Cooperative. She uses figures and cityscapes as a vehicle to capture light, movement and atmosphere
- Pat Hodson, in the textiles marquee, layers paper with silk, using drawing and collage, resist techniques and digital print to make translucent and tactile art works. Her most recent project, Iceland Stories, was created collaboratively with poet Liz Cashdan and sound artist Jessica Rowland after they spent a month together in a remote corner of Iceland
- Carys Davies studied engineering science at Jesus College, Oxford and worked as an engineer and consultant for Rolls Royce, Philips and IBM before turning to ceramics. She makes a variety of vessels thrown in porcelain, and they all have in common a organic, rough outside and a mechanical smooth inside inspired by her home between the sea and mountain, history and modernity
Art in Action is a festival of fine art and master craftsmanship staged in the grounds of Waterperry House, Oxfordshire. Each July artists set up their studios in one of the many marquees and work in front of visitors, giving them the rare opportunity to observe the creative process at first hand.

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Art in Action champions art in many disciplines and forms, from the traditional to the contemporary. In 2010 artists will demonstrate their expertise in Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics, Calligraphy, Illustration, Glass, Metalwork, Jewellery, Nature in Art, Textiles and Woodwork. We are delighted to welcome a new section, International Art, featuring artists from around the world working in numerous disciplines and all portraying something of the culture they are from.

One of the many unique features of Art in Action is the large selection of practical classes on offer. There are opportunities for approximately 4000 visitors to take a class in a wide and eclectic number of subjects from mosaic making for 3-7 years to enamelling for the over 16s. Half of the classes are run by some of the UK’s most prestigious and established colleges and institutions, including the Drawing School of the New English Art Club, West Dean College, the Prince’s School of Traditional Art and the Guild of Glass Engravers. A number of classes can be booked in advance online (, but demand is high. Following a class, enthusiasts can purchase art materials and publications to refine their skills or just get started. There is also the Craft Market where more than 100 designer-makers sell quality goods.

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In addition, Art in Action offers fine music, performing artists and storytelling for children. There are lectures organised by NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies) and visitors can take guided tours of the beautiful Waterperry gardens and the exquisite frescoes on the walls of Waterperry House that were completed in 2006 - a 10-year project. There is a wide range of refreshments: cream teas from the Pear Tree Restaurant, a good selection of wines, champagne and Pimm’s and numerous organic and artisan food stalls throughout the site. Art in Action is truly a celebration of creativity as well as a great day out for families and art lovers. People come year after year - often, they say, as much for the atmosphere as for the works on show.

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Watch a short film about Art in Action on the website:


Event details

Venue: Art in Action
Waterperry House, Near Wheatley OXFORD OX33 1JZ
Tel: 020 7381 3192
Date/time: 21-24 July 2011, open 10am-5.30pm daily