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Contemporary arts festival set to launch

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THIS year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival is set to launch on Friday – with the announcement of the Open competition winners and a
“cultural crawl” tour of the venues.

The launch will give the public a first glimpse of entries to the Art andPhotography Open competitions, which will be displayed at Warrington Museum amd Art Gallery and The Gallery at Bank Quay House respectively until the end of October.
The first place prizes are £250 and a solo exhibition next year and runners-up are awarded £100.
The winners of last year’s Open competitions are currently enjoying the solo exhibitions they won – a first for both of them.
Artist Bex Ilsley’s Emotional Processing is on display at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery until Saturday October 28, and fine art photographer Steve Deer’s A New Perspective can be seen in The Gallery at Bank Quay House until Monday, October 25.
Also confirmed for this year’s festival programme will be a new installation called Echo by Holly Rowan Hesson, at Pyramid arts centre.
The installation explores uncertainty, transience and the gap between, and interplay within, purely sensory feeling and experience and more literal, rational thought-based experience and memory.
Holly said: “Echo comprises projection and sculptural work to create dialogues with materials, memory and the physical space.
“My work in general is concerned with the fragility and transitory nature of what seems solid, weighty and permanent, both physically and also in the way things are perceived.”
Ellen Sampson, an artist who explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and artefacts, will be using film, photography and installation at the Museum and Art Gallery in an exhibition called Worn: footwear, attachment and affective experience.
She said: “This exhibition explores our relationship with and attachment to shoes.
“Focusing on the shoe as an everyday object, and on the embodied experience of wearing, I explore how through touch and use we become entangled with the things we wear.
“I look at how material objects can become records of lived experience and how these traces of experience can be read or understood by the viewer.”
Both of these exhibitions will be on display until January.
Maureen Banner, board chairman for Culture Warrington, the charity which organises the festival, said: “The festival is a major highlight in Culture Warrington’s calendar and a great way for us to come together with our creative community.”
The launch night on Friday begins at 6pm in The Gallery at Bank Quay House, followed by a trail around the exhibitions and venues, before the Open competition winners are announced at 8pm in the Museum and Art Gallery.
More information on the full programme can be found at www.warringtonartsfestival.co.uk
*Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival runs alongside Warrington Festival, which celebrates the arts, food, sport and heritage in the town, and is part of a wider calendar of events held across Cheshire in association with Slant, the county’s cultural destination programme.

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