Cormorant with struggling fish, 2020
The Alde Valley Spring Festival usually runs for four weeks each April and May. Based at a small farm in the beautiful Upper Alde Valley on the Suffolk Coast, it celebrates the importance of the visual arts, local foods and contemporary crafts in a working farmed landscape.
We have cancelled all parts of the Festival’s physical programme for 2020 in response to the current circumstances. However, amid the uncertainty, worry and tragedy that is rife in the world at present, the core values of the Spring Festival remain strong : the importance of welcoming people to join together in order to celebrate food, farming, landscape and the arts.
Providing a sense of welcome at the farm where the Festival takes place and managing the Festival with a spirit of compassion, support and understanding are central to how we choose to do business – as is the acceptance of change.
We have decided to adapt to the present circumstances and place as much as possible of the Festival’s 2020 programme online – on this website and also on our Instagram account, which operates in tandem with the website. Please do come and join in !
The Festival Exhibition
The online Festival Exhibition presents beautiful works by 12 Guest Artists that explore the theme of “On a Turning Wing” – including a magnificent new painting “Cormorant with struggling fish, 2019” by Maggi Hambling.
The online Open Studios showcase the work of 12 artisan makers who were selected for our seasonal Workshop Residencies. These are now virtual residencies with all the Makers now based at home. But we are offering their work for sale – and also inviting bespoke commissions and other orders.
The Farm Suppers we have had to cancel. In their place we have invited guest writers from the planned 2020 Writing at Great Glemham residency to prepare a small literary feast to share with you online – and we have added a checklist of essential local food suppliers and online cookery ideas to provide inspiration for home cooking.
Shop & Events
The Festival Events were to include a series of Festival Talks at the farm. These are now cancelled, but we have instead invited our Guest Speakers to share their ideas, references and talks online through the website. If you are interested in the Japanese hanami tradition and flowering cherries, edible swiftlet nests from Borneo or the mathematics of loop basketry head straight over to the Festival Events !
The Festival Tea Rooms are also closed. When open, we work with amazing local cooks and suppliers and specialise in offering teas, cakes and pastries that are made with ingredients from local suppliers and the local landscape – which is also home to the birdlife that we are celebrating.
Whilst the Tea Rooms are closed, we want to celebrate and promote local foods and home growing – and bird-watching. There are many local cooks, chefs, community groups, small businesses and sole traders who are rapidly adapting and re-shaping their actions and activities to provide community support and resilience. It also feels like an important time for home growing, community agriculture and re-localised food supply chains.
These are the seeds of change and the seeds of survival – so we have re-purposed the Tea Rooms section of the website to support collaboration and help celebrate the new Green Shoots of Suffolk and beyond.
If you would like to explore the farm’s beautiful little Woodland Nature Walk, Bluebell Walk and Meadow Walk, or the Festival’s Rebirding Projects, you can find photo-trails and video recordings on the Festival’s instagram account.
With very best wishes from the Festival Team – all now home-working.
Stay Safe – Stay Well.
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