Art in Action 2014

, by George Kandalaft

What’s new at Art in Action in 2014?

Art in Action is a festival of fine art and master craftsmanship – with a difference. A small village of marquees, laid out at Waterperry Gardens, contains 400 artists, teachers, performers and musicians. An average of 25,000 visitors come over four days each July, to watch and learn from demonstrations in painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, calligraphy, illustration, glass, metalwork, jewellery, textiles, woodwork and more.

Over 3,000 people take a practical class in an eclectic range of disciplines including pottery, glass engraving and marquetry. Lectures curated by NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) give greater insight into historical and contemporary artistic practices. Live classical and world music is performed around the site and in the open air theatre, where you can also see dance from around the globe. Alternatively visitors can just relax in the beautiful setting of Waterperry gardens and soak up the atmosphere.

Art in Action showcases an unparalleled variety of artists from numerous disciplines, featuring old masters and new faces - always with a focus on quality. It champions art in all forms so you can find everything from traditional crafts to contemporary art.

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Sculptor Jessica Wetherley demonstrating in the Newcomers marquee - Art in Action 2013

Highlights for 2014 include:

The Big Draw
The Big Draw comes to Art in Action for the first time in 2014. Its purpose is to inspire people from different walks of life, especially those who have not drawn before, to have a go. Professional artists models pose in a variety of costumes from Downton Abbey, James Bond and Peter Pan etc, changing their pose every 5-20 minutes. The event is free to anyone who wants to try and all drawing materials are supplied.

Glass – Liam Reeves
Liam Reeves was working as a hot glass technician at the Royal College of Art when he discovered a passion for investigating pivotal techniques from glass-blowing’s two millennia of rich history. From the mould blowing of ancient Rome, to the complex goblet-making techniques of Renaissance Venice and the finesse of factory manufactured glass after the Industrial revolution. At Art in Action he will be demonstrating goblet-making techniques from the ’Golden Age’ of Venetian glassmaking 15th-18th century.

Ceramics – Lisa Hammond
Lisa Hammond’s work embraces an extensive range of thrown functional ware for the preparation, cooking and serving of food. Alongside functional ware she has always made a range of work that is more individual and playful. The development of these pieces is a result of the time she spent in Japan, making, firing and exhibiting. Her forms are strong, fluid and unfussy, and are intended to retain a suggestion of the soft plasticity of the clay. Lisa started Maze Hill pottery in 1994, converting a building that started life as a ticket office for Maze Hill station in Greenwich. She has taught pottery to thousands of people over the years and masterminded the ‘Adopt a potter’ scheme to help students undertake a thorough
training in functional and studio pots.

Textiles – Sarah Burgess
Sarah Burgess is a textile artist who specialises in stitched collage. Using a variety of found objects such as wood, glass and ceramics shards, she contrasts these with fine threads, semi-transparent fabrics and drawn thread structures. This approach was encouraged by collaboration with a glass artist, originally on commissions for stained glass windows but recently on more innovative, experimental work combining glass with textiles. Sarah will be demonstrating some of the potential of mono-print drawing on paper and fabric as material for a series of stitched collages. Mono-print has the potential to build complex layered surfaces with marks that reflect the passage of time. Sarah also undertakes ecclesiastical commissions in glass and textiles for churches and public commissions.

Painting – Michele del Campo
Vibrant, colourful depictions of everyday life characterise the paintings of this young Italian painter, who brings the sunny streets of Barcelona to the UK. Michele’s life size oil paintings depict ordinary people, standing beside a scruffy wall, buying vegetables, chatting over a cigarette. At Art in Action he will use his fresh and vibrant oil technique to realise a big painting from the process of drawing to the final brush strokes that give life to his figures. Michele was recently awarded a prize from the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.

Event details

Waterperry Gardens,
Near Wheatley
Oxford OX33 1JZ
Information: 020 7381 3192 /
17-20 July 2014, open 10am-5.30pm daily