Artists gather for Pittenweem festival

Pittenweem Arts Festival - A work entitled Daisy by Helen Denerley Dougie.
Pittenweem Arts Festival - A work entitled Daisy by Helen Denerley Dougie.

OPENING tomorrow and celebrating its 29th year, the Pittenweem Arts Festival has won an enviable reputation as one of Scotland’s leading festivals as it continues to promote the best in contemporary art in a wonderful location.

The event traditionally invites a number of internationally recognised artists to exhibit their work, while showing alongside them are artists and designers from across Britain, including many living in Pittenweem and the surrounding area.

Almost 100 venues will exhibit paintings, sculpture and craft - everything from houses, galleries, garages, gardens and even the harbourmaster’s office are utilised - and there is an opportunity to meet and speak with the artists.

The principal invited guest is Kate Downie, whose specially created installation of civil engineering drawings, Bridging the Gap, with commissioned colour-field abstract prints from Edinburgh Print Workshop, will rise from floor to ceiling in Pittenweem’s Old Town Hall.

She will be joined by Helen Denerley, the Strathdon based sculptor, who works with scrap metal, while in complete contrast are the materials for Alex Muir’s retrospective exhibition of nearly 50 years as a milliner, 40 years of which have been spent in business in his Pittenweem studio.

Artist and collagist Pum Dunbar explores the relationship of cognitive and sensory perceptions using collage as the medium and Duncan of Jordanstone students produce exciting and innovative work in a myriad of media.

There is also music, drama, film, talks and children’s and family entertainment and among the highlights are Splinters Production of The Matchmaker by J.B. Keane; bluegrass band The Hot Seats; one-woman comedy from The MsFits; music from Django to Latin with Havana Swing; and fiercely independent Fence Collective with Khartoum Heroes.

One casualty of the 2011 festival - it ends on August 14 - is the fireworks display, which has in the past marked the launch of the event. It has been scrapped after loutish behaviour by a miniority of alcohol fuelled youngsters marred the previous two years.

The Festival café marquee at the harbour will provide meals and refreshments, as will local cafes and pubs, and full details of the programme are available at www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk and at the box office telephone 01333 313903.