History of the Festival
The Alde Valley Spring Festival first came into existence in 2009, having grown out of the annual Easter Retreat art exhibitions. These started in 2003 in a small cottage next to the church in the village of Great Glemham. The Festival welcomes small numbers of regional, British and international artists for both informal and formal residencies. It also celebrates the remarkable food scene of the beautiful Alde Valley in East Suffolk – one of the few river valley systems in England that is still superstore-free from source to sea.
The Festival Programme brings together a major art exhibition with walks, talks, gatherings and other arts, food and community-based projects. It is twinned with its sister Festival Pesta Nukenen in the Kelabit Highlands of Central Borneo and supports community work in the UK and abroad.
The Alde Valley Spring Festival 2015 explores a sense of place through a theme of "dropping down" - of being present in the landscape and watching it, observing it; and translating this presence into drawings, paintings, music and the written word.
A small residency programmewas started in early 2014 and this now welcomes artists and writers to the farm from the UK and abroad. Residency links are being developed with the Cill Rialaig project in Ballinskelligs, Eire. In September 2014 The Alde Valley Spring Festival launched a Flipside Writing Residency at White House Farm in association with Flipside Festival. This has been followed by a new High Tide Writing Residency linked to the annual High Tide Festival.
The Alde Valley Spring Festival operates as a small limited company. It was founded on the principle that the arts are a key component in a thriving economy; and that the interlinkage of local foods, farming and the arts provides a sound foundation for a truly vibrant green economy - most notably when combined with community-based ICTs and renewable energy technologies. The Festival works with a developmental model that is intended to be both scaleable and transferable, able to replicate in multiple locations.