It’s not all duck racing and Morris Dancing
Recently there has been some interesting debate about the countryside and culture, and whether rural dwellers miss out compared to their urban counterparts.
Certainly one of the greatest concerns city dwellers have when deciding to move to the country is the lack of theatres, art galleries and concerts on their doorstep.
And understandably so; the whole point of going rural is to appreciate the simpler things in life, but that involves a compromise precisely because the hustle and bustle of the city is that much further away.
But it doesn’t mean you have to spend your weekends watching duck racing, Morris dancing or taking in a prize pig contest – dig a little deeper and you will find a wealth of culture that will delight the artist in you without having to rush back to town.
So, now that spring is on the verge, well, springing, why not check out any of the following:
- Hampshire Art Fair. Located in the heart of the Hampshire countryside in an old barn, Hampshire Art Fair specialises in contemporary British and international artists. On between April 24th and May 3rd. For more information visit www.quiddityfineart.co.uk.
- Meadow is an organisation that commissions and sites new art works at exhibitions throughout the rural West Midlands. For more information click visit www.meadowarts.org.
- The Natural Rural Touring Forum aims to deliver high quality art experiences that strengthen rural communities. Its work includes concerts, theatre and professional development opportunities. There are around 40 rural touring schemes across the UK. To find about more about what’s going on in your area visit www.ruraltouring.org.
- Beaford Arts is England’s longest established rural arts organisation, which has been running for 45 years across North Devon. To find out more about it visit www.beaford-arts.org.uk.
- Rural Arts is an organisation based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, which runs workshops and a host of other events in and around the Tees Valley. It also works with schools across the area. To find out more visit www.ruralarts.org.
- Set in the beautiful surroundings of Denby Dale, Yorkshire Sculpture Park attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually to its contemporary displays. To find out more go to www.ysp.co.uk.
- Arts Out West delivers high quality and professional shows to village communities across Cumbria. To find out more visit www.artsoutwest.com.
- Visual Arts in Rural Communities provides residences for artists working in Northumberland. For more information go to www.varc.org.uk.
- Wild at Art Scotland organises creative art vacations in some of Scotland’s most stunning locations. It also hosts workshops for budding artists north of the border. For more information visit www.wildatartscotland.com.
One final point, however, that can’t be overlooked is that if you’ve made a successful transition from town to country then perhaps you need to look no further than your window for the perfect work of art ... the British countryside. Many have tried to paint her and most have failed. Embrace Mother Nature in all her glory and you may soon find you can live without that inner city gallery after all. After all, why else did you decide to move? It wasn’t for the transport links!