Acclaimed automata artist to create circus-themed donation box for libraries.

Published 8th June 2018

The Inspire Arts team are delighted that as part of Inspire’s Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status, and the country wide The Big Draw programme, they have been able to secure and commission acclaimed automata artist Keith Newstead to create an original work for The Big Draw 2018: Play! touring exhibition.

Keith, whose work has featured in numerous exhibitions, on film and at the Chelsea Flower Show, will be creating an enchanting automata collection box inspired by what would happen if the circus came to the library. Local artist Emma Reynard has also been commissioned to work with 12 Nottinghamshire primary schools during the summer term exploring the same question through visual art workshops. Emma will also be offering FREE family workshops throughout October and November at libraries across the county.

Keith’s automata work and the artwork created by the school children will form an exhibition at Mansfield Central Library Gallery, which will be on display from 29 September until 20 December 2018 before touring three other Inspire library venues from January to June 2019. Keith commented, “I am delighted to be taking part in this project and I am looking forward to working with Emma Reynard. I am sure the children involved in her workshops will come up with some exciting ideas”.

Helen Ackroyd, Principal Arts Officer for Inspire said “We are very excited to be working with Keith Newstead and know that the young people who influence the commission, and will be celebrated in the exhibitions, will be proud of the legacy they leave as young artists.”

The international The Big Draw Festival runs from 1 October until 4 November and Emma will be running FREE family workshops in 12 Nottinghamshire Libraries during that time.

Emma commented, 'I am really excited to be working on The Big Draw 2018 project for Inspire. I will be working with the schools to come up with ideas and designs which will inspire Keith's automata. We will be looking at old-style circus acts and the artist Alexander Calder's wire circus as inspiration; creating fabulous drawings, collages, projections and shadows. The workshops will be fun and playful and hopefully generate lots of visual ideas for Keith to develop into his final piece'

Find out more about all the activities currently on offer as part of Inspire's National Portfolio Organisation status at 

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