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Forest retreat open for Kidderminster Arts Festival
6:50am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in Local
A FOREST retreat with a difference has been created in Kidderminster as the centrepiece to this year’s arts festival.
Instead of leaves and bark, the trees and plants in Kidderminster Town Hall have been made out of carpet to raise awareness to the town’s history.
Artists have spent three months on the installation which opened along with the Kidderminster Arts Festival last weekend.
Visitors will be able to visit the carpet forest, made out of recycled cardboard tubes and old Brintons Carpets designs, until Sunday, August 25.
The carpet trees are complemented by lighting by Dragon Leisure, music by Kidderminster College’s Andy Edwards and a soundtrack by Museum of Carpet Writer in Residence Heather Wastie.
As visitors explore the forest, they will hear the sounds of looms and birds and songs about Kidderminster carpet makers can be heard from the trees.
The idea of the project is to preserve the memories and skills of people who were involved in the town’s carpet trade.
The arts festival is being held by Wyre Forest District Council and features a variety of music, theatre and poetry.
It was officially opened last Friday by Wyre Forest District Council chairman Fran Oborski and arts and play development officer Loz Samuels, who is the driving force behind the festival.
Mrs Oborski said: “It’s really important that young people get to nurture their creative talents, not just their academic skills. I hope it’s a really successful arts festival.”
Artists Jo and Kate DeBurgh, known as PLANET, created the forest using carpet donated by Brintons.
The sisters from Malvern usually work in recycled plastic and this was the first time they had used carpet and cardboard.
Kate said: “We started off by going to the archives at Brintons. We’ve spent the last few weeks cutting and designing. Each tree has come from an original design.”
Jo said: “We’ve worked with a lot of different groups. One of those groups was Among Friends in Kidderminster. They were elderly people and a lot of them worked for Brintons and shared their memories.”
Animator Babis Alexiadis has been filming the carpet forest to create a lasting record of the installation. The carpet trees will be gifted to the Museum of Carpet after the festival.
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