This year’s new look Salisbury Contemporary Craft opens in the Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September, showcasing around 50 stalls selling the very best of contemporary craft from across the south west and beyond.
Entry is free, browsing is welcome and it all happens within the heavenly Cloister surroundings.
For those wishing to get hands-on or to learn the tricks of the trade from experts, the Craftivate programme supported by Arts Council England will allow visitors to observe the techniques used by these superlative craftsmen up close, and to study their finished articles.
In the North Transept, workshops will be available for those wishing to try their hand with some exquisite craft skills alongside the experts. Bookable online from early August, workshop places are limited so spaces must be reserved ahead of time. Details of workshop costs and crafts to be featured will be announced next month.
There are also plenty of free opportunities to find out more about creating and making from working artists representing Plain Arts Salisbury, who are giving demonstrations in a marquee behind the East Cloisters.
The Cathedral’s own stonemasons will be on show in the inaugural Contemporary Stone Challenge, in which members of the Works team will be competing to create contemporary designs, trying out innovative ways of working with the stone. The Challenge takes place in the picnic area behind the Cloisters.
Other free events include a Craft Circle where visitors can watch artists in action, with demonstrations taking place between 10 – 4.30 each day. There’s also a programme of free story-telling between 11.00 and 12.00 and 13.00 and 15.00 beneath Queen Victoria’s cedar trees in the Cloister Garth and music out on the west lawns.
A special exhibition of the Cathedral’s own contemporary treasures, including beautifully embroidered altar cloths and copes, will be open in the Trinity Chapel and specialist Cathedral Guides are offering Contemporary Walk-and-Talk options to Salisbury Contemporary Craft and Cathedral visitors as a one–off alternative to the floor tour.
Visitors wishing to take up this option can choose from 3 different aspects of contemporary craft in Salisbury Cathedral:
11.00, 13.00 and 15.00Twentieth Century Stained Glass
12.00, 14.00 and 16.00Twentieth Century Sculpture
11.30, 13.30 and 15.30Salisbury Cathedral’s Medieval Architecture, a wonder of its age
Visitors should meet their guide inside the Cathedral by the information desk along the South Nave Aisle. Walk-and-Talks are offered on a first-come first-served basis and are free, though a Cathedral Donation is requested.
For those thirsty for information, a free Human Library will operate on both days in the Cathedral Cloisters between 12 – 3pm. No physical books in this library but some experts that can be hired ‘off-the-peg’ to discuss art, culture and society, contemporary craft and hobbies.
To complete the Salisbury Contemporary Craft experience, a range of delicious, locally produced foods are available each day in the Refectory Restaurant and the Bell Tower Tea Rooms. Fair-trade coffee, fresh leaf tea, homemade scones, cakes and plenty more besides.