Arts by the Sea Festival 2019 Is Staged With Help From Local Schools, Bournemouth University Students, Community Groups And Its 2019 Visitors

As part of its on-going engagement programme to involve and provide opportunities for local communities, Arts by the Sea invites visitors to submit artwork for its bespoke BeachHUTS outdoor installation. It also sees animations from Bournemouth University students projected on Bournemouth Town Hall, while The Grange School, and Glenmoor & Winton Academy feature in the colourful Shademakers carnival. Additionally, elements of the festival are being taken into the heart of the West Howe community as part of its Audience Development project.


With one month to go until Bournemouth’s annual celebration of arts and culture, Arts by the Sea Festival reveals that visitors can have their own designs featured as part of a bespoke ‘BeachHUTS’ commission by Artist Open Call Winner 2019, Andy McKeown. This and many more elements make up Arts by the Sea’s engagement programme as the festival strives to create a sense of community and opportunity for people to participate in the arts.


The ninth edition of Arts by the Sea is delivered under its ‘Mind Matter’ theme and is set to attract over 100,000 people to Bournemouth from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th September for an exciting and unique mix of carnivalesque celebration, large-scale installations, and art and dance across many forms.


Visitors at Arts by the Sea 2019 are invited to create a colourful beach hut design to be incorporated into the BeachHUTS light installation, which will appear at Middle Gardens for the duration of the three-day event. Those wanting to submit a colourful postcard design can pick up a template from libraries across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole from 9th September, and then drop them back off at the library by Monday 23rd September. The templates will also be available from the installation itself at Middle Gardens on Saturday 28th September from 12-4pm. Each evening’s show will then feature new content as provided by locals in Bournemouth.


Andy McKeown, the brains behind the BeachHUTS commission, is also working with AIM Community for the project. Alongside Adele Cleaver from AIM, workshops were held with vulnerable young people and carers to develop skills and create 10-second clips of what makes them happy, to be randomly sequenced into the installation, which uses light, sound and projection to create a mesmerising display of footage captured from the local area.


Providing further opportunities for the local community, three students from the VFX Hub at Bournemouth University studying Computer Animation, will see their designs become a reality when projected onto the façade of Bournemouth Town Hall for the ‘Hôtel d’Illusions’ spectacle. After submitting portfolios following a brief supplied by leading video projection artists, Rob and Matt Vale from Illuminos, Jazmin Coe (20), Alec Mcllvaney (23), and Rosie Bowers (20) were selected to contribute to the final piece. Through close mentoring by Illuminos, the students have designed some unique and memorable elements for the show including a mischievous devil, a set of magical explosions that emanate from a magician, and a huge water cabinet that fills and explodes as the magician escapes. This is set to be one of the highlights at this year’s Arts by the Sea.


On working with the BU students, Rob Vale said, “They had free rein initially to start creating, but based around a concept and moodboard images to keep everything within a particular look and feel. Then they would send short renders of content to us and we would discuss them, suggesting alterations or specifying render sizes or duration.  It’s been a real collaborative effort going back and forth looking at their content and refining it, whilst keeping them in charge of their elements.  I think they’ve enjoyed the process, and they’ve really worked hard to get the elements done within the time period, and in keeping with the full piece.”


One huge participatory element every year at Arts by the Sea is the Shademakers Carnival. Children aged between 11-15 years old from The Grange School and Glenmoor & Winton Academy, will be taking part in a 2-hour workshop with Shademakers where they’ll learn about its history, how costumes are made, and, dance and performance using costume. This experience culminates with the young people becoming part of a vast display of music, colour and creativity in the ‘Submerge: Carnival SOS’ on Sunday 29th September, witnessed by thousands of people as it travels through the streets of Bournemouth.

Accessibility is also a key part of Arts by the Sea. After receiving an Audience Development fund in conjunction with its partner, Without Walls, Arts by the Sea can now be taken right into the community in West Howe. The Arts by the Sea party will take place at the Henry Brown Centre on Saturday 28th September and the activities on offer will directly link to the main festival, giving a festival experience to those unable to travel to Bournemouth Town Centre for the main event.

Festival Director and Cultural Development Manager at BCP Council, Andrea Francis said, “Arts and culture play such an integral part to so many people’s lives, are essential to our wellbeing and help make people feel part of their community, by bringing us all together. It’s our vision at Arts by the Sea to provide quality, free experiences and opportunities to all our audience, and to be able to enjoy a truly unique and joyful experience in the wonderful green spaces of Bournemouth.”


Arts by the Sea offers awe-inspiring, engaging and fun-packed activities suitable for all ages, and what’s more, it’s free to attend. To plan a visit to the 2019 festival and find out more in-depth information about its unrivalled programme of diverse arts and culture, head to Further announcements are coming soon.