New arts fes­ti­val suc­cess

A BRAW be­gin­ning

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The brand new It’s BRAW fes­ti­val in Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray had a riproar­ing week.

Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Arts Week (BRAW) be­gan on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 9, and closed on Sun­day.

This new event evolved around the Rat­tray Arts Fes­ti­val, which for the last eight or so years has taken place over the Au­gust bank hol­i­day week­end.

It was de­cided that, rather than it be­ing staged in one venue over a week­end, it would be good to ex­per­i­ment with fea­tur­ing a range of ac­tiv­i­ties and venues over seven days.

Les­ley McDon­ald and Tina Glid­don, who took on the Rat­tray Arts Fes­ti­val last year when founder Jo­hanna Framp­ton stepped down af­ter seven years at the helm, were be­hind plans for the new event.

Les­ley and artists Tina, Ella Ste­wart and Anick Pitcher, along with Tra­cie Dick from the Cre­ate @ Nest ven­ture in Blair­gowrie, have

been de­lighted at the ex­panded vi­sion that has been BRAW in this first out­ing.

Les­ley said: “The idea was that by co­or­di­nat­ing dates with the BOOKMARK fes­ti­val we of­fered vis­i­tors to the area even more of an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion that will hope­fully en­cour­age them to stay in the area for even longer.” One of the new events was a Mur­der Mys­tery evening, staged at her restau­rant Cargill’s Bistro. Les­ley said: “We were de­lighted to have the team at Cre­ate @ Nest in Blair­gowrie’s Re­form Street in­volved with a range of craft work­shops dur­ing the week. “We had ev­ery­thing from weav­ing with Ash­leigh Slater to nee­dle felt­ing with Sarah Urie, draw­ing, fused glass, as well as up­cy­cling, sil­ver ring mak­ing and print­ing tech­niques.” Tina said the take-up was as she had ex­pected for a de­but year. She con­tin­ued: “Like you’d as­sume with so many of these things, peo­ple have had to ad­just to the change of date from Au­gust bank hol­i­day to a full week in the tat­tie hol­i­days. “We wanted to do some­thing when lo­cal school­child­ren were free but we have found that many fam­i­lies took the school break as an op­por­tu­nity to go away so the young el­e­ment has ac­tu­ally been lack­ing a bit. We had to scrap the chil­dren’s play due to lack of num­bers. It’s a les­son learnt.

“On the up side,” Tina added, “the work­shops geared more for adults have done re­ally well. Some have been com­pletely booked up.

“We had Hai­ley Mills’ draw­ing and paint­ing ses­sion full on Tues­day and Tom Bar­ron’s oil paint­ing work­shop was a big draw.

“Ricky Pitcher’s sil­ver­work­ing ses­sion on Mon­day was pop­u­lar too.”

On top of arts and crafts work­shops BRAW also put on a tra­di­tional mu­sic night in the Bal­moral, and a quiz.

On Thurs­day night the Blair­gowrie Play­ers reprised their per­for­mance of ‘The Ar­row’, which was also per­formed as part of BOOKMARK, and on Satur­day night the pop­u­lar Coal­town Daisies and lo­cal duo Jor­dan Fox and Cal­lum McHoul rocked Blair­gowrie Town Hall.

The week­end then shifted fo­cus to the Rat­tray Arts Fes­ti­val, housed at Rat­tray Church Hall.

The weather held up for the most part, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to explore au­tumn art op­por­tu­ni­ties , and or­gan­is­ers are talk­ing of build­ing on this good start, al­ready mak­ing plans to do it again next year.

Les­ley McDon­ald Des­ti­na­tion

De­tailed Crafts and tra­di­tional skills on show

Busy Irene Wishart and Mhairi Shand with their work

Needle­craft The was a va­ri­ety of work­shops

Good start BRAW will be big­ger next year

Sil­ver Ella Ste­wart with class tu­tor Ricky Pitcher

In­tri­cate Some of the work on dis­play

Skills Tu­tor Sarah Urie with Kate Bruce

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