Artists spring into action for free events

The demise of winter and revival of spring will be celebrated at the end of the month with a free weekend arts festival funded by Crawley Borough Council.
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Spring Forward is a community-led, light and sound installation marking the changing seasons. Arts charity Same Sky is producing it and will be in Crawley ahead of the weekend delivering workshops for schools and out in public during half-term.

Cabinet member for Community Engagement and Culture, Councillor Sue Mullins, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to provide a series of free events for Spring Forward which will capture the imagination and be an exciting spectacle as we head into the spring.”

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The installation will be in the Memorial Gardens on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February from 6 to 10pm, with the launch event taking place on the Friday at 6pm. That will feature a lantern-lit, community parade with a dragon made of re-used car parts. Dragon Heart Beats is a favourite at festivals and events around the country and will be leading the launch event – constructed of hub caps, breathing fire and accompanied by live percussion and fireworks.

Sculptures by Same Sky from a previous event in CrawleySculptures by Same Sky from a previous event in Crawley
Sculptures by Same Sky from a previous event in Crawley

The focus for those two evenings will be the central bedding area of Memorial Gardens with animals and plants from the forest, field, city and sea. Featuring new sculptures by Crawley students and Same Sky’s professionals, the installation will showcase light sculpture of creatures that emerge during spring.

Same Sky artists will also be delivering workshops at six schools and hosting free, family-friendly lantern-making workshops during half-term. These lanterns can then be used in the opening night parade.

The workshops are on Tuesday 13 and Thursday 15 February, from 10am to 12pm, and 1.30 to 3.30pm at Ancient Priors in the High Street. To make a booking, go to Free Lantern-Making Workshops for Spring Forward, or email [email protected].

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Also keep an eye out for one of Same Sky’s carnival creatures wandering the town centre and County Mall on the Tuesday.

Anyone can drop into Same Sky’s open studio session and meet the artists on Wednesday 14 February, from 10.30am to 3pm for a peek or a chat and cup of tea as they prepare.

To see all the dates in the council’s calendar for Crawley, go to the Events page on our website.