New exhibition at Alnwick Playhouse signposts upcoming What A Wonderful World Festival

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The opening of a new exhibition at Alnwick Playhouse offers visitors a thought-provoking celebration of the world we live in.

The Loving Earth display features 100 beautifully made 30x30cm textile panels, each created to illustrate beloved places, people and wildlife at risk as a result of the climate crisis.

Messages such as ‘Save Our Soil’; ‘Don’t Let The Sun Set on the Bees’; and ‘Use Your Leftovers’ are communicated in intricate and distinct detail thanks to the efforts of people all over the UK, who have created and donated their works to the Quaker Arts Network’s ongoing Loving Earth Project.

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The month-long exhibition, which is on loan from the nationwide initiative, forms part of the What A Wonderful World Festival 2023, which will bring a programme of music, theatre, film screenings and discussion panels to the Playhouse from June 30 to July 2.

Alistair and Liz Anderson, co-founders of the What a Wonderful World Festival.Alistair and Liz Anderson, co-founders of the What a Wonderful World Festival.
Alistair and Liz Anderson, co-founders of the What a Wonderful World Festival.

An impressive cast of cast of global performers, artists, panellists and thought leaders who share a common passion for saving our planet, will come together over three days for the second such event, which made its debut proper in 2022.

Festival co-director, Liz Anderson, said: “The Loving Earth project dovetails so beautifully with what we’re doing with the What A Wonderful World Festival, so we’re delighted to have been able to bring such a significant number of panels to display at the Playhouse.

“They bring together such a wide range of passions and fears for the world we live in and offer a really powerful and thought-provoking display.”

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Alongside the Loving Earth panels, local community groups from Warkworth, Shilbottle and Amble have also created and contributed their own textile tiles to the display.

Gilly Maude from Warkworth’s piece encourages people to think about choosing to cycle or walk instead of using their car while Jenny Blayney’s contribution explores the issue of toxic waste.

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In addition, pupils from Duchess Community High School’s Climate Club have been working on their own graffiti-inspired artworks which will be displayed in shop fronts across the town to promote the festival.

Liz added: “We’re really pleased that local people have been moved to get involved ahead of the festival and it’s great to see their work hanging alongside the Loving Earth display and decorating the whole town.”

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Co-director, Alistair Anderson, said: “Most people now know that the climate is changing. We have all seen wild fires, flooding, tornados and hurricanes on the news.

“Many have watched wildlife programmes lamenting the approaching extinction of a myriad of species. But it is so easy to concern ourselves with the daily problems of life and push questions of our very survival into the box labelled ‘too hard for me to tackle’.

“What a Wonderful World Festival won’t solve the problems either, but we want to encourage people to talk about the problems and the very real solutions that are available. We want to inspire a great conversation where everyone can share their fears, their understanding and their hopes.

“In order to draw people into this great conversation we are trying to bring the arts, science and the natural world together to remind us of what an amazing planet we live on, what we have to lose and to explore some of the potential solutions.”

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