My first visit to Art In Action at Waterperry Gardens was 8 years ago as part of a company summer outing. It was such a great day, I had every intention of returning, but it has taken 8 years to actually do it! I only wish I had done it sooner.
Art In Action is a unique event that was started in 1977 by a group of students at the School of Science and Economics. This first year saw 51 artists and musicians gather together to exhibit and create. It was an instant hit with 14,000 visitors over four days. Today, approximately 25,000 people descend on Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire to enjoy and celebrate the 400 strong group of artists, crafts people, performers and musicians who come together to exhibit and perform. It really is a dream for the Creative Glutton.
Art In Action is not only an opportunity to see amazing objects on display, it’s all about the action of creating, seeing the crafts people at work drawing, sculpting, whittling and glass blowing, you name it, there is always something interesting to see. This is what I love about this event, actually seeing the crafts people at work and having the opportunity to engage with them and learn about their techniques and processes of creating. It’s a rare treat.
If you’re up for a bit of action yourself, there are a range of workshops where you can try a new skill yourself. Whether you fancy glass engraving, basket weaving or throwing a pot (that would be on a wheel, not across the room), there is something for everyone to try their hand at, all guided by a friendly artist or crafter.
There’s also the opportunity to knock off some early Christmas shopping with the market marque which hosts 100 designer-makers and their work.
It’s such a well run event, with courtesy taxis from the main train station, plenty of seating to rest weary legs and a wide selection of gourmet food and drink on offer (we all need a glass of bubbles to recharge after a few hours walking around), I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days. In fact one day wasn’t enough, I was so inspired that next year I am going to volunteer too!
Art In Action is the place to go to be inspired, learn, talk, watch, listen and enjoy. If there is one event that a Creative Glutton should go to, it would be this. Who knows, you could be asking me for directions next year……