The slogan of the 3 Harbours Arts Festival is “art in unusual places” a mantra which is carried throughout. The term “art” is not confined to
painting or drawing but covers music, murals, photography, literature, dance, film, drama, crafts- the list is endless. One of the most interesting artists I encountered at this year’s event was a stonemason, Gardner Molloy. He had an impressive display of sculptures in the courtyard of his workshop along with portfolios of commissions and freelance work he has done in the past.What is fascinating about Molloy’s work is his attention to detail. One particular piece which struck me was a bust of a man wearing a tweed cap. Despite the work being sculpted entirely from one piece of stone, there was still a sense of different textures, especially when it came to the cap. The intricate details of the statue demonstrated the skill and craftsmanship of the artist.
Another defining feature of the Arts Festival is where the works of art are displayed. There are various venues which house the main exhibitions as with other events in the art world. However, it is the smaller shows which sets this festival apart from the rest. Local residents open their homes once a year to showcase the talent of those taking part in the festival. Very often the occupants of these open houses display their own pieces but they also house the work of other artists. Residents welcoming art-lovers into their homes adds a sense of intimacy and warmth to the festival which can not be found at other such events. Where else is it possible to walk through the town and simply call into a stranger’s home to view some artwork? A sense of community is the driving force behind this yearly event and even if you are a stranger to the area the warmth of the locals is catching.
To check out some of the highlights of the 2011 event log on to http://www.3harbours.co.uk/