Lottery grant for new Battle arts project

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AN AMBITIOUS Art Trail at the heart of Battle has been given the go ahead, following a successful bid for funds from the Arts Council.

Battle Arts is behind the plan, which will see more than 20 works of art installed in and around the High Street and George Meadow between September 17-25 2011.

Chair Sally Lampitt said: “We are thrilled to have secured funding for this exciting project, especially given the current cuts in arts spending.

“The trail will certainly get Battle residents talking – and we hope will bring lots of people to the town.”

The theme of the trail is The World Turned Upside Down.

At its core will be works by commissioned professional artists.

These will be interspersed with projects by emerging artists from Sussex Coast College and local groups including the Autistic Spectrum Dilemma group, Battle Knitters, the Traveller Education Team (TEALS) and Children’s Services.

Battle Museum will house a new exhibition for the trail and more than 350 school children from the area’s primary schools and Claverham Community College will also create pieces during workshops run by Radiator Arts, the Hastings-based community arts group.

Ms Lampitt explained: “A huge number of people are collaborating to produce this unprecedented Art Trail for Battle.

“Our aim is that the works of art will encourage residents and visitors to look again at familiar Battle scenes, and perhaps see something new, surprising and amusing at the same time.”

A central feature of the trail will be a drawing residency based at The Almonry led by Annabel Tilley, former artist in residence at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne.

In addition to an exhibition of her work, she will be running workshops where visitors have the opportunity to create their own art.

Rother District Council and Battle Town Council are supporting the trail.

Battle’s Mayor, Cllr Ron Harris, welcomed the Arts Council funding, saying: “The Art Trail promises to be a landmark event for the town.

“This kind of initiative shows Battle to be a vital place in which to live, work and invest.”

The timing of the trail has been planned to coincide with Battle’s Contemporary Art Fair and Hastings’ Coastal Currents Arts Festival.

Ms Lampitt said: “September promises to be a vibrant time for community life in and around Battle. “

Businesses and organisations interested in sponsorship opportunities are welcome to get in touch with Battle Arts by e-mailing battle.arts@yahoo.co.uk or calling Sally Lampitt on 07751 250398.

Battle Arts is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.