But there is plenty going on – and I am spending my August here in the UK.
The Romsey Art Festival is back for its second year, this time supported by the Arts Council as well as Cambridge City Council. Which has meant we have not only been able to eat proper square meals (with veg!), but commission new work by the likes of Petersfield-based Unclaimed Creatures (who’s appeared at the British Museum and Battersea Arts Centre – this is her first Cambridge-based installation) to create a series of audio installations around Romsey Town and the Mill Road area.
We’ve also asked Rebel Arts to lead an Art Party Walk starting at the Skate Ramp next to Parkside Swimming Pool at 3pm on 9 August – your chance to celebrate your community and contemporary art with a colourful brigade of community groups, artists and art lovers – make your own crazy creative work or costume and walk up into Romsey Town!
Sin Cru’s hip-hop collective are creating a series of dances up and down Mill Rd for the walk, plus there are music stages at Hope St Yard and the Argyle St Co-op and song-writing workshops in the likes of the Earl of Beaconsfield. Watch out for the launch of Sofar Sounds at the festival, and there’s heaps for families, too. It runs until 23 August.
Wysing Arts’s annual summer music and art festival is also hotly tipped this year, with its focus on women working in experimental art and music – looks brilliant! Space Time: The Future will be the perfect place to get out of the city, refresh yourself, sip cocktails to some world-class art in a rural (frankly blissful) setting.
I cut my teeth as a very young curator years ago working in the electronica and art scene up in Sheffield. I can honestly say this kind of initiative is much needed – the music industry still badly needs bringing into the 21st century when it comes to how it treats and perceives its female professionals (‘Oh right you’re a groupie’ – ‘Er, no I am trying to discuss your work’).
Will not mention my illustrative anecdote about the Godfather of Hip Hop DJ Kool Herc, here – it’s too rude. But kudos to Wysing for an excellent theme this year. Incidentally, check one of Cambridge’s leading music industry professionals Yvette Chivers, with her Breaking Boundaries campaign to raise funds for deaf-blind children’s projects through the medium and love of dance music – see her Facebook page.
“The music industry still badly needs bringing into the 21st century when it comes to how it treats and perceives its female professionals”
Other rural art happenings include Deanna Tyson’s artist residency at pub The Plough, in Shepreth, that starts this month. The pub will be home to a lively, creative, family friendly hub, with a rolling programme of exhibitions and community events.
“We want to create an enthusiastic community of people of all ages keen to engage with the arts,” says Deanna. The perfect day trip from Cambridge, if you fancy some creative fun in a down to earth, relaxed setting – over beer!
Finally, if you find yourself up at the University of Cambridge’s Library this month (um, you might be a student..), check out The Escape Of Paris – an exhibition of books and stunning illustrations showing the liberation of Paris post-Nazi occupation.
Almost as fascinating as Gustav Metzger appearing at Kettle’s Yard, with this interesting show – Lift Off, which I’ve yet to see properly as my toddler son was making too much noise the last time we went, enjoying his own form of ‘autocreation’ with a toy fire engine. One (slightly confused) staff member even thought his noise making was part of the show!
Perhaps he was channelling Metzger himself, who once said: ‘When I was young I wanted art that would lift off – that would levitate, gyrate, bring together different, perhaps contradictory aspects of my being’.
Who knows? But whatever you do, enjoy your summer days, all!