A series of interactive installations and performances will take place at Bilston Craft Gallery and other venues in the town as part of a unique free event beginning on Saturday (14 February, 2015).

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Acts of Making is a 2 week festival celebrating contemporary craft through performances, live installations and workshops. Six artists will be holding events at Bilston Craft Gallery and more unusual spaces across the town, putting craft in unexpected spaces and allowing the public to interact and collaborate with internationally exhibited artists.

People will be able to witness the creation of a patterned carpet made entirely from dust, create their own music via logs and wooden horns, watch a procession of Vespa and Lambretta scooters, explore their relationship with jewellery, watch a performance piece using unfired ceramic pots and sculpt sandstone benches by skateboarding on them.

Taking part in Acts of Making are artists Catherine Bertola, Keith Harrison, Clare Twomey, Richard William Wheater, Owl Project and Mah Rana. Many are working with the local community on their contributions to the festival.

The Festival's curtain raiser on Saturday is Richard William Wheater's collaborative performance piece Tree and Scooters. In it, a cavalcade of Vespa and Lambretta scooters will make the journey from East Park to the former Science and Art School, Mount Pleasant, from 1pm to 2.30pm, stopping in Bilston town centre on the way.

The procession will demonstrate man's effect on the environment; each scooter rider will have a flag showing a section of a plastic poplar. The flags will then go on display at the former Science and Art School until the end of the festival.

Catherine Bertola will be creating a patterned carpet made of dust in Bilston Craft Gallery during its normal opening hours on 14, 17 and 18 February. The patterned carpet, inspired by the history of its location, will remain on display until Saturday 28 February.

Keith Harrison's collaborative performance piece will be a series of benches made of sandstone. The benches will change shape as they are sculpted through use by skateboarders at the Urban Sports Event on Saturday 21 February from 10am to 3pm.

Owl Project's sound piece Photosynthonium, at Bilston Craft Gallery from 14 to 28 February, is a log pile embedded with LEDs which convert light into sound and can be played via hand held iLog devices, allowing the public to make their own sound art. It will be on display throughout the festival with special free workshops for under 7s and their parents and carers on Friday 20 February from 10.30am to 12pm and 1.30pm to 3pm; please call the gallery to book places.

Mah Rana will bring her collaborative archive project Meanings and Attachments to St Leonard's Church on Monday 16 February between 10am and 2.30pm. People are asked to bring along a piece of jewellery that has special meaning to them.

Rana and her team will then record the stories behind the jewellery and take photographic portraits which will be displayed in Bilston Craft Gallery from Wednesday 18 February until Saturday 28 February.

Clare Twomey's Is it Madness, Is it Beauty is a performance piece which will be acted out by local arts students in Bilston Craft Gallery between 24 and 28 February. It looks at the futility of human action as a number of unfired ceramic pots are gradually filled with water, causing the pots to disintegrate and spill their contents.

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, said: "Acts of Making presents work outside of the traditional gallery space to challenge people's perceptions of what craft is.

"The 6 unusual projects are by exceptional artists who have worked in collaboration with, and been inspired by, the local communities in and around Bilston."

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "We are very privileged to be able to host such an important festival in Bilston, and I'd like to thank the staff at Bilston Craft Gallery and the Crafts Council for working so hard to bring it to the town.

"I hope the local community will come out in force to support Acts of Making and play a part in this unique event."

Acts of Making is a Crafts Council touring project organised in partnership with Bilston Craft Gallery.

For more information, please call Bilston Craft Gallery on 01902 552507 or visit Type=links;Linkid=1703;Title=Bilston Craft Gallery;Target=_blank;. People are being encouraged to capture their Acts of Making experiences on social media using the hashtag #ActsofMaking.

  • released: Wednesday 11 February, 2015