On Saturday, 8 July, Newmarket could see the results of several months work that local residents and our artists have put into Newmarket Kite Symphony project. Looking for synergy between local heritage and context and opportunities to engage local communities in the arts we have developed the Newmarket Kite Symphony project that brought together visual arts, crafts, music, poetry and even sports. We are delighted to have been working on this project together with Palace House Newmarket: National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, whose collection inspired our kite-makers.
From March this year local artist Paula Wilson has been working with Newmarket residents to design and decorate kites inspired by local landscape and history. Community groups from Abbeycroft Leisure Centre, All Saints Church, the Marco Botti Stables, and Waitrose have produced great artworks that took to the streets of Newmarket as the groups paraded them within the Newmarket Carnival. Clad in bright orange and joined by the brilliant Newmarket Academy Samba Band our float made quite an impression when we reached the High Street.
On the Severals there were opportunities for everyone to take a closer look at the giant kites, have a go at designing their own kite and even decorate a Newmarket Kite Symphony t-shirt to take home.
In the afternoon a crowd gathered on Long Hill to watch Newmarket Kite Symphony performance. The wind picked up and the kite ballet was air born. The atmosphere was wonderful, with everyone relaxing in the grass. Lead Artist R.M Sanchez-Camus and kite flying specialist Zachary de Santos have been running dual kite flying workshops for local residents throughout the last two months teaching them the skills to make kites dance in the skies. This afternoon was the showcase of their hard work. Henry Birtles poem about Newmakret beautifully read by Neil Hart set the scene, and the music by Jasmin Rodgman combined with the astounding technological prowess of Zach’s kite formations transformed into musical notes produced an ambient soundscape perfect for the setting.
Read some of the quotes of the day and explore the photos in our Flickr gallery.
This is how R.M Sanchez-Camus, our Lead Artists for Newmarket Kite Symphony, described the uniqueness of this project:
Projects like this one are at the foreground of redefining what art is and how civic inclusion, community partnerships and working outside of institutions are the new ways we are creating art and culture. That’s exactly what we did this weekend, we helped create a beautiful and memorable piece of public art that will stay on as part of the story of Newmarket and each of us — R. M. Sanchez-Camus, Lead Artist
Ali Atkins, our Creative Agent for Forest Heath said,
This is Market Place’s first major project in Newmarket so I’m happy to see so many residents getting involved. The groups who took on designing the giant kites, Waitrose, Abbeycroft Leisure Centre, All Saints Church, the Marco Botti Stables, have produced some great work. The flying teams have been dedicated throughout. Particular thanks go to local kite flying expert Mike Read for his time and help with our novice flyers. This has been a culmination of a lot of work, and I hope a legacy of kite flying stays in Newmarket. We hope this is the start of something. — Ali Atkins Market Place Creative Agent
Kayleigh Boyle, Communications Officer, who joined us just recently and supported the audience outreach opportunities for it, is grateful to the team,
The amount of work that has been put into this project over the last few months really is incredible. First of all, congratulations to Marcelo for organising such a brilliant community event! Your energy is what kept this project flying even when the wind meant the kites weren’t. The Newmarket Academy Samba Band were just brilliant on the day, thanks for joining us and good luck with your other adventures! Well done to all of those who got involved with painting the giant kites, a lot of work went in to producing 6 unique and colourful designs. Thank you to the flying teams who dedicated their Saturdays to practising on Long Hill, you all did amazingly and should be incredibly proud with what you were able to accomplish in such a short time. Zach you are a genius! I’m still not exactly sure how it all works (you will need to explain it to me one day), but you got it all together perfectly and it was brilliant! Thank you so much to Paula Wilson for her work with the community groups and producing her spectacular racing colours kite. I want to thank her most of all for the open days we held around Newmarket, I had so much fun making kites and getting to know Paula as we painted the giant community kite sprawled out on the floor! — Kayleigh Boyle, Communications Officer
All photos taken by Alex McElroy
We would like to thank all our partners, who made this project possible: Newmarket Jockey Club for the use of Long Hill, Newmarket Paint Company for the paints for the Creative Kites and The Guineas Shopping Centre for letting us perform the Open Day on the 1st July.
If you want to find out more about the project and next steps, please contact Ali Atkins at email@example.com, our Creative Agent for Forest Heath.