Clay figures explained as Patina announces Moving On theme

One of the clay figures spotted in Lewes

One of the clay figures spotted in Lewes

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Residents might have spotted small clay figures around Lewes recently.

Community arts charity Patina (parents and teachers in the arts) has revealed to the Sussex Express that it is behind the project.

The characters, which represent tourists on their travels, have been seen on signposts, street lights and outside venues, such as Lewes Castle and Pells Pool. Many are carrying suitcases and each has its name and #whereintheworld on it.

Caroline Croft, development co-ordinator of Patina, said the figures were made to create intrigue before announcing the theme of this year’s Moving On parade, the charity’s annual mass arts project in the town to mark outgoing year 6 students’ transition from primary to secondary school.

The theme and logo were revealed on Saturday (February 11) at the charity’s Ditch the Detox event in the Town Hall. It will be Wonders of Our World.

Ms Croft said: “Moving On 2017 will be all about exploration, adventure, discovery, travel and connections with people from around the globe.

“We want the 2017 Moving On parade to send the children a very positive message about the wonders that can been found and encourage their natural sense of inquisitiveness, openness and adventure.

“It will be a celebration of the places and people you would dream to travel to and meet.”

Last year, for the 15th parade, the theme was We Are Walking Works of Art. It saw more than 370 children from 15 schools dress in costumes and carry structures inspired by artists such as Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo, and Salvador Dali.

In 2015 the theme was Carnival of Creatures and Patina teamed up with the Sussex Wildlife Trust to celebrate the wildlife of the South Downs.

Saturday’s Ditch the Detox, which is the charity’s biggest annual fundraiser for Moving On, raised £3,200 – beating last year’s total.

The party for over-18s included music from four DJs and Sussex-based soul funk band The Supernatural Things, a cocktail bar, roulette table, photobooth and raffle.

Ms Croft said it was fantastically well supported. She added: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who supported the event and would like to say a very sincere thank you to the many people who helped make it a success.”

Patina is inviting the public to suggest places and festivals they think should be included in this year’s parade.

So far, ideas include the Rio Carnival, Egypt’s pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Suggestions can be written on a dedicated board in the entrance of the Town Hall, sent to patinalewes@gmail.com, or posted on Patina’s Facebook page up until the end of March.

The public can also expect to see more clay figures throughout the town.

Patina is a network of parents, teachers, artists and volunteers. It was formed due to the concern that art was being given less focus in the primary curriculum.

Moving On is due to take place on July 7.

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