Arbury Carnival Goes to Tate Modern – April 2018

We were very honored and excited that the Arbury Carnival was nominated by Kettles Yard, working in conjunction with the Tate Modern Exchange programme, to become the subject of the year 2018 Exchange programme.

This year the theme of the Tate Modern Exchange’s programme was Production,  Kettles Yard thought that the hard work and production skills involved in making the Arbury Carnival happen over the past 40 years should be celebrated as it is a great example of creativity through community production.

Tate Modern Exchange Day

It was a slightly overcast day when Alan, Sarah, Mandy, Eddie and Sue from the committee, Chioma & Kids set of from Cambridge for the Tate Exchange at Tate modern in London on 13th April 2018, but we were all very excited in anticipation of the day, knowing that we were the first Carnival outside of London to take part in their exchange program.

The artists from Kettle Yard (Hilary Cox-Condron, Sophie Cullinan and Joe Lyward) had set the workshop area up the previous day, which had taken over the whole public area of floor 5 of the very imposing Tate modern’s Blavatnik Building, and it looked great. 

There were different areas for the different workshops and there were display boards about the Arbury Carnival around the room, with photos, an explanation about the carnival and the tapestry from a previous year’s Carnival taking pride of place at the entrance. 

The workshops were all based around printing, sewing and decorating the fabric squares, which will be put together by Kettles Yard to make giant puppets for the procession, at the Carnival.

After a quick briefing from the Organiser and director of the Tate Exchange, Nick Osborne, we set to work.  Alan and Mandy had the task of meeting and greeting the visitors to the workshops.

Sarah took over the Kettle’s Yard social media for the day, and was photographing and sending out tweets, Instagram, face booking, whilst Sue Eddie and Chioma, and his crew assisted with the workshops. 

There was a steady stream of visitors, from the UK and further afield, (even from Arbury!), all very interested in our ‘little’ carnival, and all very pleased to be contributing to the puppet. 

What they produced was varied and imaginative, and all based around the themes of community and production.  Although many of the people had not heard of our Carnival, they seemed quite interested in coming along to the carnival and seeing the finished product.

Each piece of fabric was hung up along one of the windows to dry, culminating in one whole window being covered in fabric squares.  There were approximately 300 squares by the end of the workshops, so we were really looking forward to seeing the puppet that Kettles Yard will make for the Carnival.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kettles Yard and the Tate Modern Exchange programme for involving us in this exciting project.

Here are a few photos.