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STILL, by Patrick Jones, who will be in conversation with Tom Hammick during the Sotto Voce Arts festival.

STILL, by Patrick Jones, who will be in conversation with Tom Hammick during the Sotto Voce Arts festival.

Sotto Voce arts festival comes to town in July

Make a note in your diary for the unique Sotto Voce Arts festival which will take place in Hastings and Bexhill from 12 to 26 July, bringing 15 Italian artists, musicians and actors from south-east Italy to collaborate with 15 professional artists in south-east England . Director Glenys Jacques explains the background and the events lined up for the festival.

“This is a creative European collaboration,” says Glenys. “We are exploring the repression of new discoveries and the explosion of ideas in both science and art which began in the 16th century with Galileo in Italy and Francis Bacon in England – themes which are very relevant today.”

The festival began in Salento, Italy, last year when the mayor and philosopher Ada Fiore, gave Glenys the run of the town’s newly restored castle for a residency and exhibition which explored recycling and philosophy. Participating artist Tracy Jones said, “It was an awesome experience, a week to make work in this huge 14th century castle. It was amazing. This year’s festival will be even bigger!”

The 2015 festival brings 23 different events to Hastings and Bexhill. There will be performances, exhibitions, artist talks and workshops, and many of the events are free.

Artist Tom Hammick.

Artist Tom Hammick.

Artists Tom Hammick and Patrick Jones will be in conversation at The Beacon on Wednesday 15th discussing collaborations with English National Opera.

There will be free workshops at De La Warr Pavilion with Argalio, which plays traditional Italian folk music, and the Alibi contemporary theatre group on Sunday 12th and Sunday 19th.

Alibi play at the Stade Hall on Thursday 16th at 8pm. “Alibi’s powerful and moving piece Muttura (Morning Due) explores the secret dumping of chemical waste in the beautiful countryside of Puglia. This performance explores the social pressure today to deny reality in issues like fracking and the displacement of people.

“It’s about what we do when we are told not to believe our own eyes,” says Glenys. “Similarly Galileo was forced to deny that the Earth moves around the Sun.”

The Italian pizzica music of Argalio is the heartbeat of southern Italian culture, its rhythm and dance is a form of therapy which keeps communities healthy and positive. Argalio play a free gig at the Jenny Lind pub at 8pm on Wednesday 15th.

The Jerwood gallery will host free artists’ talks on Tuesday 23rd at 2-4pm and artists will be exhibiting in the crypt of St Mary in the Castle and at 35 Robertson Street from Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th.

The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.

The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.

The finale will be a spectacular evening performance of The New Atlantis, a collaboration between the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments and laser light artist Paul Friedlander at St Mary in the Castle. They explore the seemingly magical, musical phenomena that Bacon sought to explain in his sound experiments in the 1620s. Featuring some extraordinary instruments from the 17th century, including the bizarre two-metre-long tromba marina, the show highlights the astonishing aural effects and illusions that so intrigued our 17th century forbears.


Sotto Voce Arts Festival 2015: 12-26 July at various locations in Hastings and Bexhill. Full details can be found on the Sotto Voce Arts website, where tickets can be obtained. Tickets are also available from Hastings Tourist Information Centre, Aquila House, Hastings TN34 3UY, tel 01424 451111.


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Posted 11:46 Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 In: Arts News

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