YOUR GUIDE TO 18 DAYS OF NONSENSE

Exploring a book together is a joy. Our outdoor art and shop window displays run for the duration of the festival. Here's our virtual diary.


 15
Thursday.
Thursday's focus across our social media channels is on St Leonards on Sea's owners of cafés, restaurants and food stalls. What aspects of Edward Lear's anthology have inspired them? For festival goers who are not local to St Leonards on Sea, this is your chance to enjoy the culinary creative responses virtually.


 15
Thursday 7pm.
Writers from St Leonards on Sea’s rich and diverse array of writing groups and poetry collectives gather to share work inspired by Lear’s nonsense anthology, written in various explorations during the festival. Authors living in the town read their favourite Lear poems from the anthology. You may be surprised at who is a Lear fan! Interspersed with songs inspired by Lear composed and performed by students from Hastings Contemporary Music School – with animations by Cliff Crawford.
MC: Lucas the Peaceful Poet.


 16
Friday.
In the final three days of the festival we begin our round up of explorations in the 2021 festival on our social media channels.


 17
Saturday.
Our round up of explorations in the 2021 festival continues across the social media channels on this penultimate day of the festival.


 18
Sunday 7pm.
The festival's closing ceremony on Isolation Station Hastings will draw together explorations of Edward Lear's thirty years of visits to St Leonards on Sea and Hastings as well as the presence of Lear's nonsense anthology literally in the landscape for eighteen days. Our finale event premieres festival band The Limbs of Romney's new work created for the festival.



Previously...



 1
Thursday: All day on our social media channels.
Nonsense Poetry to launch the festival. Our Nonsense Streets project just has to begin on April Fools Day. Artist Peter Quinnell and his team have been working with the residents of three streets, creating nonsense poetry using methodology first developed by Tristan Tzara. This dada approach to Edward Lear’s nonsense world will be celebrated across our social media channels all day with poetry performance produced by Erin Brookes-Doolan and Alison Cooper.



 1
7pm: Online event on Isolation Station Hastings.
Bavard Bar, the renowned talk and comedy platform on the south coast of England, hosts three speakers from around the world with perspectives on Edward Lear and nonsense humour, keen to demonstrate that the fool is the wise one in the court of the April Fool. Tune in to find out who we have chosen to speak up for and about Lear’s nonsense. Event link


 2
Friday: All day on our social media channels.
Launch of the festival owl trail. It’s 150 years since the publication of the nation’s favourite children’s poem (poll of 2014) in Edward Lear’s 1871 nonsense anthology. Festival partner Hastings and Bexhill Mencap’s Active Arts strand has headed up our marking of #OwlAndPussyCat150 inspiring the community to make owl and cat sculptures. Our social media channels will feature the animals in their new pea green boats for the duration of the festival. If you are local to St Leonards on Sea, you can follow the trail on foot to seek out all 150 of them. Read about Edward Lear’s relationship with owls.


 3
Saturday from 11am: On our web site and social media channels.
Online premiere of new sound composition, Hear My Tree. A visit to the park to listen to the composition on your device will be a rich experience. Headphones recommended in the park and at home. More on Lear’s relationship with trees.


 4
Easter Sunday: From 11am on our social media channels.
Announcement of the winner of the poetry competition. Poet Thabo Nyoni reads the six shortlisted poems in our festival nonsense competition for 7-14 yr olds on our social media channels, in association with Education Futures Trust beginning at 11am. At midday Thabo will announce the winners with poet and illustrator Ed Boxall who has illustrated the two winning poems as unique prizes for the selected primary and secondary school aged poet.


 5
Bank Holiday Monday: 7pm. On our web site.
Opening of Nuts About Lear virtual gallery. This new online gallery exhibition of cutlery doodles, inspired by Lear’s The Nutcrackers and The Sugar Tongs, goes live on our web site at 7pm for the duration of the festival. Online PV 7pm, link coming soon. This project was created by artists Erin Brookes-Doolan, Hannah Collisson, Maya Coombs and Alison Cooper and the gallery exhibition created in Artssteps by Hannah Collisson and Maya Coombs, supported by Esme Fisher.


 6
Tuesday: 7pm. On our web site.
Opening of Cranks, Cogs and Cams exhibition virtual gallery. Artist Esme Fisher’s new online exhibition, Cranks, Cogs and Cams: the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World, with composition by Frank Moon, goes live at 7pm for the duration of the festival. Online PV 7pm. Book private view tickets free on Eventbrite.
The gallery is built from automata made in one of Cabaret Mecahnical Theatre’s workshop projects with mixed makers and creators from the community, responding to Lear’s round the world story. This work has been supported by artist, Erica Smith.


 7
Wednesday, all day.
Artist Emma Harding’s project, Green Heads, Blue Hands explores difference, inspired by Edward Lear’s The Jumblies. The artwork Emma and her team created with St Paul’s Primary Academy and Robsack Wood Community School is on display for the duration of the festival in Warrior Square Gardens, St Leonards on Sea. This project will be explored in depth across our social media channels on this day.


 8
Thursday, all day.
Artist Julie Gurr’s project, Nonsense Botany, features two willow sculptures honouring Lear’s botany section of the anthology. The work Julie has developed with young artists at St Leonards Academy is on display for the duration of the festival in Gensing Gardens, St Leonards on Sea. We will take a closer look at this project on this day across our social media channels.


 8
Thursday 7pm. Online event on Isolation Station Hastings Facebook Page.
Lear the Musician Reinvented: online event. The second of Isolation Station Hastings’ online festival events, new composition by Hastings Thrives’ young musicians honours Edward Lear as a musician: a flautist, guitarist, accordion and piano player whose musical compositions included songs that Tennyson rated as the best created using his poetry.


 9
Friday, all day on our social media channels.
Artist Ed Boxall’s project, Botany and Bestiary, features created nonsense characters and poetry that have come out of his exploration with Christ Church C of E Primary Academy. It is on display for the duration of the festival in Warrior Gardens, St Leonards on Sea. Ed will explore this work with us on this day across our social media channels.


 10
Saturday, all day on our social media channels.
Artist Susan Miller and young artists from Dudley Infant Academy went to sea with Edward Lear. Their creative responses are exhibited on the path from Station Approach leading down to St Leonards Warrior Square station for the duration of the festival. We’re exploring All At Sea in detail across our social media platforms on this day, thinking about Lear’s own sea journeys and his characters who sail the waves.


 11
Sunday, all day on our social media channels.
Artist Aaron Hosannah and facilitator Victoria George have been working with young artists at St Leonards Academy exploring nonsense characters. Amblongus Pie is their project exhibited in Gensing Gardens, St Leonards on Sea for the duration of the festival. In the last of our focuses on the festival outdoor art, we look at the aspects of Lear’s anthology that stood out for this group.


 12
Monday.
The non-essential shops reopen on this day. We'll be celebrating across our social media channels from 12-13th April by featuring the work of our festival partners on the high street. For viewers who are not local to St Leonards on Sea, this is your chance to enjoy the Edward Lear inspired window displays.


 13

 13
Tuesday.
We continue sharing projects created by our festival partners on the high street. For viewers who are not local to St Leonards on Sea, enjoy the Edward Lear inspired window displays in kings Road and London Road, St Leonards on Sea.


 14
Wednesday.
Today our social media focus is on the smallest and quietest voices among the explorations of Edward Lear's Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany And Alphabets. First up, Matchbox Diaoramas project made by Lou Lou Cousin and her maker community including Eggtooth, and hosted by Kings Road Fish Bar. We finish the day enjoying Calico Pie, Seaview's project led by Rebecca Child.

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