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Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Artventure

PUBLISHED: 17:39 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 20 February 2013

Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Artventure

Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Artventure

Currently in the process of creating two giant sand lizard sculptures for the Celebrating Surrey arts festival this June, Guildford-based group Artventure provides creative opportunities for adults with learning difficulties

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2010


Currently in the process of creating two giant sand lizard sculptures for the Celebrating Surrey arts festival this June, Guildford-based group Artventure provides creative opportunities for adults with learning difficulties. Here, we meet co-ordinator Anne North to find out more about this talented bunch



So tell us about your group
Artventure is an art centre for adults with learning difficulties or physical and mental disabilities to explore the visual and performing arts. Working alongside practising artists, we produce paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics. Every year, we showcase our works through exhibitions and Surrey Artists Open Studios. In the summer, we also hold workshops.


Is there a Surrey artist you particularly admire?
Glass and installation artist Mary Branson, printmaker Julie Hoyle and sculptor Ruth Wheeler, who have inspired a unique body of work called Project Francis, working alongside one of our members, Francis Tuesdale.


Where in Surrey do you go to seek inspiration?
We have visited Wisley Garden Centre, for their choice and diversity of flowers, and we are also hoping to have a visit from the Herpetological Conservation Trust, a charity that specialises in the conservation of the UKs reptiles and amphibians, to get inspiration for the Sand Lizard project well be doing for Celebrating Surrey.


Which is your favourite exhibition space in the county and why?
The Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames, for the welcoming atmosphere and the lovely light and space.


Finally, tell us about the works you are creating for Celebrating Surrey?
In our exhibitions, we always have at least one large papier-mch sculpture. Many people now remember us for these pieces. All Artventure members love to make art about animals and, with this in mind, we wanted to find an animal that would really represent Surrey. We have chosen the sand lizard, as Surrey is one of the few places in the country where it still has a home and they have recently been reintroduced into Witley Common in Godalming. We plan to make two large sculptures, one male and one female, as the different sexes vary in colour. In addition, we are inviting members of the public to come along and make their own small lizards out of beads and plaster that they can take home for a nominal fee. As part of this project, we are working in partnership with Surrey Wildlife Trust to bring the message home of the importance of conservation of our wildlife and natural landscape.



  • Celebrating Surrey takes place on Saturday June 26 and Sunday 27 at the historic Loseley Park in Guildford. For more exciting developments, visit surrey.greatbritishlife.co.uk

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