Ferry good idea for floating art

Diep-Haven art launch in Newhaven with Norman Baker.
Diep-Haven art launch in Newhaven with Norman Baker.

A ferry was transformed into a floating art exhibition this week as an innovative cross channel cultural exchange gets underway.

Artists from Dieppe and Newhaven set up shows on board the ferry which operates between the two towns on Tuesday August 19.

Newhaven MP Norman Baker and Lewes District Council leader Rob Blackman were invited to visit the exhibition.

They were joined by the principal of Newhaven’s University Technical College, Jon Clarke and together went on to meet the artists and performers.

The floating show is part of the Diep Haven Festival where events are being staged on both sides of the channel and artists have taken up residencies in Newhaven and Dieppe.

Norman said: “This is unique stage of the festival which will help to develop relationships between artists from both sides of the channel.

“This is also a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful artistic strength we have locally as well as to promote the connection between Newhaven and Dieppe.”

The Association Cybéle, which has organised the festival since 2010, staged the floating festival, including a programme of artists’ events, performances and workshops on the ferry.

There were also lectures, concerts and video projections. A range of artists and performers were on board from both England and France, including local performers from Newhaven.

The results of the artists’ residencies will be presented to the public in 2015, as the Diep Haven Festival presents a programme of events and exhibitions on the topic of New Worlds.

As part of New Worlds, six resident artists from both sides of the Channel will be exploring each other’s territories in Dieppe and Newhaven between now and December.

The Dieppe arts festival has been running for four years and for the first time the festival is bridging the channel, travelling from Dieppe to Newhaven with support of the Arts Council of England and Lewes District Council.

Cllr Rob Blackman added: “This festival is a great opportunity to build and grow artist relationships across the Channel and we look forward to hosting the New Worlds Festival here in Newhaven next year.”

This cross-channel festival also includes the Guest House Storytellers based at the Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven, who told the tale of ‘The Freya Connection’ which took place on August 19, 1914. To find out about the residencies see www.diephaven.org