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Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival 2017 ready to launch

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival 2017 ready to launch

This year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival will launch on Friday 29 September with the announcement of the Open competition winners and a ‘cultural crawl’ tour of the venues.

This exciting event will give the public a first glimpse of entries to the Art and Photography Open competitions, which will be displayed at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and The Gallery at Bank Quay House respectively from the launch night until the end of October.

The first place prizes are £250 and a solo exhibition in 2018 and runners-up are awarded £100.

The winners of the 2016 Open competitions are currently enjoying the solo exhibitions they won last year – a first for both of them.

Artist Bex Ilsley’s Emotional Processing is on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery throughout the festival until Saturday 28 October, and fine art photographer Steve Deer’sA New Perspective can be seen in The Gallery at Bank Quay House until Monday 25 September.

Also confirmed for the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival (WCAF) programme will be a new installation called Echo by Holly Rowan Hesson, at Pyramid arts centre.

The installation explores uncertainty, transience and the gap between, and interplay within, purely sensory feeling and experience and more literal, rational thought-based experience and memory.

Holly said: “Echo comprises projection and sculptural work to create dialogues with materials, memory and the physical space.

“My work in general is concerned with the fragility and transitory nature of what seems solid, weighty and permanent, both physically and also in the way things are perceived.”

Ellen Sampson, an artist who explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and artefacts, will be using film, photography and installation at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery in an exhibition called Worn: footwear, attachment and affective experience.

She said: “This exhibition explores our relationship with and attachment to shoes.

“Focusing on the shoe as an everyday object, and on the embodied experience of wearing, I explore how through touch and use we become entangled with the things we wear.

“I look at how material objects can become records of lived experience and how these traces of experience can be read or understood by the viewer.”

Both of these exhibitions will be on display until January.

Maureen Banner, board chair for Culture Warrington, the charity which organises WCAF, said she was excited about the upcoming festival launch and cultural crawl.

“The festival is a major highlight in Culture Warrington’s calendar and a great way for us to come together with our creative community,” she said.

The launch night on Friday 29 September begins at 6pm in The Gallery at Bank Quay House, followed by a trail around the exhibitions and venues, before the Open competition winners are announced at 8pm in Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

More information on the full programme can be found at