Thursday, 24 June 2021

Art festival back after enforced year off

THIS year’s Watlington ArtWeeks Festival will be the largest gathering of artists in Oxfordshire taking place outside Oxford.

It will run from Saturday, May 15 to Sunday, May 23 in venues across the town, including the town hall, St Leonard’s Church and the Spire & Spoke pub as well as people’s homes.

The creations include paintings, photography, pottery, jewellery, stained glass, mosaics, textile art, furniture, sculpture and installations.

Jaine McCormack, one of the organisers, who lives in Christmas Common, said: “We are hoping that we can make it a fantastic event for the town.

“The organising team has been working for months to ensure our festival can go ahead and we are confident that by focusing on larger, airy venues and adhering to covid protocols everyone should feel safe.

“It’s the first time since lockdown we are actually allowed to hold an exhibition so we need to make sure everyone is comfortable with how it’s taking place.

“We’re hoping that a lot of people from other areas will come and discover Watlington and meet the artists, because that is what the festival is really about, it’s not just some art on a wall, it’s the chance to meet and talk to the people who created it.”

Ms McCormack, an artist, designer and stylist of home textiles and interiors, will be displaying her work at the town hall. 

She said: “I think what makes the festival special is that the organisers are also artists, so that means we understand what is at stake — showcasing your art is a daunting thing to do.

“The response and support we have received has been great. We would like to thank the parish council, our three churches, the Watlington Club, the library and all the businesses that have agreed to host our artists free of charge.”

Matt Reid, who chairs Watlington Parish Council, said: “This is an exciting way to re-open the town after the pandemic and I hope everyone will enjoy it.”

The festival will have a trail map and information sheet with details of the artists exhibiting.

ArtWeeks took place for the first time in 2019.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but an art trail with 29 installations by 12 artists was held in August when restrictions were eased and this is set to be repeated this year.

For more information, visit

More News:

POLL: Have your say